HARTFORD, Conn. — The U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s ability to serve cadets returning from winter break will be affected by the forced furlough of administrative staff and other nonessential civilians as part of the partial government shutdown, the school said Monday.
About 160 of the New London academy's 260 government-funded nonessential employees have been furloughed, with students set to return Jan. 6.
There will be a week of orientation and training before classes begin for the spring semester.
The majority of the 100 nonessential civilians who remain on the job are faculty and that classes and previously scheduled training will be held, the academy said. But support staff, maintenance and facilities workers, groundskeepers and others won't be on hand to perform their duties.
"The lapse in funding will impact the ability for cadets to receive academic support services, participate in outreach activities and some athletic events," the school said in a statement.
Some contract workers, including janitorial staff and cafeteria workers, will remain on the job because those contracts have been paid through the academic year, the academy said.
Winter sports, such as basketball, will continue be played, but coaches and staff who support the fall and spring athletic teams remain off the job, the school said. Some other athletic events may be canceled.
The service academy has an enrollment of just under 1,100 students. It receives funding from the departments of Defense and Homeland Security as well as some private funding.
Coast Guard workers received paychecks Monday. But because the Coast Guard is part of the Department of Homeland Security and not funded as other branches of the military, workers are not scheduled to receive another check during the shutdown.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, said he plans to introduce legislation when Congress reconvenes this week that would fund the entire Coast Guard during the shutdown, including both civilian and noncivilian workers at the academy.
He expects the bill will receive wide bipartisan support, he said, but could not predict whether the president would sign it.
“It is essential that the education of these cadets is uninterrupted,” Blumenthal said. “They are on a very strict schedule and they require our support. We’re talking about the training of our future leaders.”