Confusing deadlines to enroll in school choice programs

The variety of deadlines parents have to enter their children in the various school choice lotteries are among a long list of shortcomings the state still needs to fix, lawyers involved in the school desegregation lawsuit say.

On Friday, the State Department of Education decided to relieve some of that confusion and extended the deadline to Monday that Hartford-area parents have to apply to the state’s Open Choice program and inter-district magnet schools. It’s still not in line with the Hartford Public Schools’ deadline for their lottery schools, but it is a little bit closer now.

The state is up against an October 2012 deadline to comply with a state Supreme Court order to reduce the racial isolation in Hartford schools. The state is still a ways from the finish line in complying with the agreement reached to desegregate the schools, which requires that 41 percent of Hartford students be attending an integrated school or that 80 percent of those who wish to leave their neighborhood school be provided the opportunity to do so.