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Lincoln University students to lead march to Harrisburg due to funding freeze

Lincoln University students to lead march to state capitol over school funding
Lincoln University students to lead march to state capitol over school funding 02:06

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Four universities in the state of Pennsylvania are waiting on hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for this fiscal year.

The holdup is in Harrisburg, where the general assembly has yet to approve the funding bill that was introduced back in May. 

Three months into the school year, Lincoln University is on a funding freeze, but students have a plan to hold lawmakers accountable.

"Resources are so limited," Mackenzie Hanks, a junior at Lincoln University, said. "I'm afraid that it will get to the point where we will not be able to keep our teachers." 

The hold-up in Harrisburg is preventing $19 million from coming down the pipeline for Lincoln this fiscal year.

"That's 20% of our operation budget," Drake Smith, a junior at Lincoln, said. 

"19 million to these other schools might be pocket change," Jayson Davis, a senior, said. "Listen, we're a small school. We're the little guy and we don't get taken care of." 

Temple University, Penn State University and the University of Pittsburgh are also waiting on a combined $623 million dollars that was proposed in a bill to restore and increase funding for state-related universities. 

On Tuesday, the house finally passed the legislation, which Representative Peter Schweyer, the Chair of the House Education Committee, said is months overdue.

"Back in June when we originally tried to pass this funding, every Democrat voted for it, and I think 19 or 20 Republicans voted for it. But we were five or six Republicans voted shy of moving it out of the house and into the Senate," Rep. Schweyer said. 

Now, the legislation requires a two-thirds vote when it moves to the Senate on Nov. 13. 

"The very real-life impact that our inaction has had on people is unjustifiable," Rep. Schweyer said.  

Next Friday, Smith, Hanks, Davis and Isaiah Johnson will lead a 66-mile march from campus to the state capitol.

 "We're in desperate times," Smith said. "We need to show the general assembly and now the senate that we need this money allocated."

"This is us showing the students we can make a difference," Hanks said. 

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