Butler School students should contact state

State Sen. Anthony Musto, D-22nd and Rep. Andres Ayala, D-Bridgeport, are urging students at the Butler Business School in Bridgeport to contact the Office of Higher Education for assistance in the wake of the abrupt closure of their school. Students can register their contact information by visiting ctohe.org or by contacting the Education & Employment Center at 1-800-842-0229 or edinfo@ctohe.org.

"The most important thing at this early stage is that Butler Business School students not have their studies interrupted by this school closure," said Musto. "I highly encourage all students to register their information with the Office of Higher Education so that they may have their questions answered regarding continuing their studies and any potential tuition issues."

The Butler Business School, along with the Sawyer Schools in Hamden and Hartford, notified the Office of Higher Education of their closure on December 30. The legislature passed a bill requiring all schools give at least 60 days notice of a school closure. The Butler and Sawyer schools are in violation of this statute. The Office of Higher Education is exploring options to deal with the school closures and affected students.

"As an educator, I am very disturbed by the unexpected closure of the Butler Business School," remarked Representative Ayala. "The state has measures in place to ensure school closures do minimal harm. It is disappointing that this school chose to act with so little regard for its students."

"Our priority is to see that students have an opportunity to complete their studies," said Jane A. Ciarleglio, Executive Director of the Office of Higher Education, in a release earlier this week. "Connecticut's private occupational schools have a strong tradition of serving students, and such sudden closures are highly unusual in our state. We encourage all impacted students to register with our Office so that we may learn of their status and help answer their questions about finishing their coursework and obtaining potential tuition reimbursements."

The Butler Business School first opened in 1957 and had 415 students enrolled for the 2010-11 school year. Before closing, the school had received federal financial aid funding and offered a training program for aspiring medical assistants and secretaries.