CT high school population shrinking faster than in 47 other states

Connecticut is expected to have the nation’s third-fastest decline in students enrolled in high school over the next 10 years, the U.S. Department of Education reports.

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 9.29.00 AMThis anticipated 11.6 percent decline means an estimated 17,400 fewer students will be attending high school in 2024 than in 2012, and 5,400 fewer will be graduating each year. Only New Hampshire and Vermont are expected to have larger declines during the same period, with estimated drops of 14.1 percent and 12.1 percent, respectively.

Nationwide, the percentage of high school students is expected to increase by 2.7 percent, the report, issued Thursday, said.

Connecticut has seen steady decreases in the number of students of all grades attending public school in the state over the last decade. This report, however, shows the decline is largely among high school students. The number of students estimated through grade 8 is not expected to change much, or 0.3 percent by 2024.

This huge decrease in high school students is likely to affect the state’s public colleges and universities, as recent graduates are a major pipeline for college enrollment.

High school enrollment in Connecticut’s schools has declined by 3.6 percent since 2006, and there have been major losses of enrollment at the state community colleges and regional Connecticut state universities.

Read the full report from U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics here. The report includes regional, racial and ethnic data and data about post-secondary enrollments.

About Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline won two first prizes from the national Education Writers Association for her work in 2012 – one in beat reporting for her overall education coverage, and the other in investigative reporting on a series of stories revealing questionable monetary and personnel actions taken by the Board of Regents for Higher Education. In 2016, she was a finalist in the EWA competition for single-topic coverage for her reporting on how schools are funded in Connecticut. Before coming to The Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. She has also worked for Congressional Quarterly and the Toledo Free Press. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College. She and her husband, son and two dogs live in Hartford.