Students on campus at Norwalk Community College The CT Mirror
Norwalk Community College
Norwalk Community College file photo

Connecticut’s community colleges continue to shrink.

With 2,393 fewer students than last fall – a 4.6 percent drop – members of the school system’s governing board were told Thursday the schools’ budgets would have to shrink as well.

“We aren’t filling positions,” said Erika Steiner, budget chief for the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities system, which includes the 12 community colleges, the four regional Connecticut State universities and the online Charter Oak College.

The four regional universities enrolled 456 fewer students, a 1 percent dip.

All together, the enrollment declines translate into $15.2 million in red ink for the state’s largest public college system.

The system office was able to close this mid-year budget gap by cutting spending at the community colleges by $9.5 million and the state universities by $5.3 million. Most of the savings was achieved by spending less on full-time staff than the Board of Regents had previously budgeted.

These cuts come on top of $34.5 million in reductions that college leaders already approved for the current fiscal year.

During an interview, Steiner was unable to say whether the nearly $15 million in cuts have affected class sizes or services available to students on campus.

To see details of the cuts at specific schools, click here.

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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