Students, professors, and graduate students marched to the state Capitol Friday to say they don’t want education funding to be on the chopping block and they don’t want to be in debt for the rest of their lives.
”Our tuition costs keep increasing, but the resources we receive from the state are staying the same, which isn’t fair,” Nicole Elsinger, a student at Central Connecticut State University said.
“Essentially they want to cut funding for our professors and ultimately that impacts the students,” Elsinger from Windsor Locks said.
Gateway Community College Professor Colena Sesanker said consolidations over the years have had an impact.
“Costs are adding up, our students are paying for those costs, not just in the actual dollars, but in the reduced services,” Sesanker said.
“The money isn’t getting to the classrooms. The money isn’t getting to the students,” she added.
She said when teaching positions are vacant they go unfilled but they are hiring administrators.
“That means our students aren’t getting services required, but we have lots of people doing fancy things in offices,” Sesanker said.
Chikwon Loyd, a senior at Capital Community College, who is the first in his family to go to college, said the state should prioritize education funding.
“We live in impoverished communities and without schooling I would just be out doing a lot of stuff that’s not good for me,” Loyd said.
“The cost of a college education has become unaffordable in the state of Connecticut," Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly said.
Kelly said there needs to be more scrutiny of how Connecticut’s higher education institutions conduct their business.
“We’ve put a lot of money into higher education in the state of Connecticut, what is most disconcerting here is that it’s not getting into the classroom,” Kelly said.
In a statement, the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities said it has advocated strongly for increased funding and will not raise tuition next year.
“The changes in instruction over the past year moving online have made people think we can teach a bunch more students in a lot less time and it’s not effective,” Ashley Robinson, a UConn graduate student, said.