HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut institutions of higher education are warning about potential layoffs and tuition hikes if they aren’t given more funds from the state budget — but officials say the institutions need to analyze their own spending, first.
“Simply asking for ever-increasing operating subsidies is not sustainable,” the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management told News 8. “Before looking to the taxpayers and students for additional funding, they must get their costs under control.”
Terrence Cheng, the president of Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, said that by not increasing the budget, the group will be forced to lay off 650 full-time employees, and 3,000 part-time positions.
“This means fewer services for students, such as mental health counseling and academic advising, at a time when they need it the most,” Cheng said.
The Connecticut Office of Policy and Management said that enrollment at state schools has been dropping since before the pandemic, going from about 90,000 students in 2014 to about 65,000 this year. The office said that the allocation per student has nearly doubled from $7,500 per student in 2018 to $14,000 in the budget ending in 2025.
State schools said enrollment is stabilizing after a sharp decline during the pandemic.
Politicians have also joined the call for more funding.
“If the legislature can find the political courage to make the appropriate adjustment to our budget, then we can avoid these consequences,” Rep. Greg Haddad (D-District 54) said.