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The Wheelhouse Digest
Thu October 3, 2013
Shutdown Impact; UConn Affordability; Winchester Schools Fiscal Crisis
It's day three of the federal government shutdown. While lack of funding is having a major impact across the country and here in Connecticut, it's not the only financial reality getting new attention. UConn's affordability is under scrutiny today, and one school system in the state is struggling to stay open after suffering a massive theft under investigation. This is The Wheelhouse Digest.
BARNES OUTLINES SHUTDOWN IMPACTS FOR CONNECTICUT
Social service programs will feel the biggest hit.
Ben Barnes, Office of Policy and Management secretary, asked state departments to report to him on how the federal shutdown will affect them. Agencies said that enough resources exist to last for about a month of limited or non-existent federal funding. Social services will be impacted the most, including programs like food stamps, temporary assistance for needy families, meals, supportive services for the elderly, and payments for child day care.
HOW AFFORDABLE IS UCONN?
A legislative committee seeks public input.
The Program Review and Investigations Committee will take up the issue of UConn's affordability today, paying close attention to in-state students. The panel's staff has been looking at how the affordability of a UConn undergraduate education has changed over 20 years, and intends to identify factors influencing cost as well as the effect of financial aid. The panel so far has found that between 2008 and 2011, tuition and fees for in-state undergraduates at UConn has increased nine percent beyond inflation, and that in just the last four years, a higher share of median household income is needed to pay for college.
WINCHESTER SCHOOLS AT RISK OF CLOSURE
A fiscal theft under investigation is partly to blame for a major lack of funds.
The town of Winchester has just three public schools to run, but they're all at a possible risk of closure by December if emergency funding doesn't come through from one source or another. Over $2 million was identified as missing from town coffers in an audit late last year. The state board of education is looking into the matter. Chairman Allan Taylor said, "The urgency of the situation is obvious."