CHICAGO (CBS) — Northeastern Illinois University will be off limits to many students, professors and employees during spring break after school officials decided to furlough staff.

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.

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More than 1000 professors, administrators and staff will be furloughed during NEIU’s spring break. University officials claim the Illinois budget crisis leaves the institution $17 million in the hole.

School officials also subjected 300 student workers to the mandated time off, including part-time student and full-time mom Erika Rivera.

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“I have two year old son. He needs clothes. He needs shoes. He needs food. It’s scary,” she said.

2017 is the second year of furloughs for hundreds of professors. Durene Wheeler lost more than $1000 last year. This year’s cut will be around the same.

“I had to try to negotiate with my landlord about paying my rent. I couldn’t send my son to camp,” she said.

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The university will save $2.8 million in salaries because of the furloughs. The library and other student buildings usually open during spring break will now be locked. The university plans to turn off heat and lights as well.

Dorothy Tucker