Connecticut is expected to have the nation’s second-largest proportional decline in public school students over the next 10 years, the U.S. Department of Education reported Friday.

The anticipated decline — 14.2 percent — would mean an estimated 77,600 fewer students will be attending elementary or secondary schools by 2025, and about 2,100 fewer students will be graduating high school each year. Only New Hampshire is expected to have a larger proportional decline during the same period, with an estimated drop of 14.6 percent. (There is a 3.7 margin of error.)

Nationwide, the student population is expected to increase by 2.7 percent, the report said. In the Northeast, enrollment is projected to decrease by 4.8 percent.

Connecticut has seen a steady decrease of 36,000 students attending public schools over the last decade – a 6 percent decline. This report, shows the declines are accelerating and will continue to encompass all grades.

The huge decrease in high school students is likely to affect the state’s public colleges and universities since recent in-state graduates are the largest share of new enrollments.

Read the full report from U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics here.

Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

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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