Deeper Look

Recent Posts

Lingering questions remain about school desegregation in Connecticut

Does research show integration improves student outcomes in Connecticut? Do magnet schools drain money from neighborhood schools? How does the lottery work? What’s next for school desegregation? We provide some answers. Continue Reading →

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Connecticut’s vanishing shoreline: Towns trying to beat the odds

Shoreline resiliency against sea level rise and flooding in Connecticut is largely in the hands of local governments. But with money tight and local budgets reliant on the taxes shoreline properties generate, efforts to protect coastal communities from climate change have been slow and underfunded. Some communities, however, are making more progress than others. Continue Reading →

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As DCF’s Katz bows out, the risky world of child protection awaits new administration

Joette Katz, who served under Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for eight years, is resigning next month after what is believed to be one of the longest tenures leading a state child-protection agency in the nation. But it wasn’t always easy. Despite Malloy’s loyalty to her, Katz’s abrasive personality, refusal to back down from controversial decisions, and her decision to march the child protection agency in a new and sometimes perilous direction, resulted in a rocky eight years. Continue Reading →

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Behind Democrats’ win, a senator and one million phone calls

Jenna Shapiro woke up miserable the day after Donald J. Trump’s election in 2016. The daughter of Democratic activists, Shapiro had canvassed for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire and worked on phone banks at Wesleyan, where she was a senior contemplating a career in teaching. “I felt like I hadn’t done enough, not nearly enough,” Shapiro said. “I never want to wake up after another election believing I hadn’t done everything I could for a candidate I believed in.” She woke up happy this year, having put off teaching to help run the Democratic GOTV campaign in Connecticut. Continue Reading →

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Do magnet schools need white students to be great?

In the Hartford region, a difference in philosophies about whether segregation contributes to poor educational outcomes divides parents, educators and lawmakers. Most magnet schools have no problem attracting enough white students from the suburbs to go to school with city kids, but some struggle. This means seats in some schools are left open to maintain diversity – a reality that is causing a rift among neighbors about what should happen next. On Tuesday, a federal judge will consider whether the state must stop considering race when awarding seats. Continue Reading →

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Stefanowski’s last employer is barred here. Does it matter?

Bob Stefanowski made sweeping changes while running a scandal-ridden payday lending company, his last job before running for governor of Connecticut. Now, voters have to decide how impressed they should be about Stefanowski’s role as a change agent for a company whose products, even the ones improved on his watch, are still illegal in the state he wishes to lead. Continue Reading →

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Change is coming for nonprofit human service providers, but will it make or break them?

It is a time of reckoning for Connecticut’s private, nonprofit social services. After two decades of flat or reduced funding from its chief client — state government — community-based agencies are struggling to retain both their programs and the low-paid staff who deliver care for thousands of poor, disabled and mentally-ill adults and children. Continue Reading →

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Boughton, Stefanowski, have lots of confidence, few details on plans to phase out income tax

GOP gubernatorial contenders Mark Boughton and Bob Stefanowski say they would phase out the state income tax. But their rivals say those claims are false given that Connecticut faces huge projected deficits, skyrocketing pension costs and a controversial benefits contract that runs for nine more years. Continue Reading →

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Despite progress, HIV racial divide persists

By the time Arthur Harris turned 17, he had already endured a childhood of grinding poverty in Hartford’s North End, the death of his mother, and the rejection of a community that viewed homosexuality as a sin. It should have come as no surprise to anyone, then, that he went searching for love and acceptance wherever he could find it — a search that led him to contract HIV before he was 18. The virus, which can lead to AIDS if untreated, disproportionately affects African-Americans all over the country, including in Connecticut. Continue Reading →

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More ER docs turning to non-opioids to fight overdose epidemic

Emergency department physicians across the state are using more non-opioid treatments for conditions that historically have required powerful opioids for pain management, as they try to play a lead role in the overdose epidemic that kills on average 115 Americans every day. This change, coupled with other efforts, has resulted in a significant decrease in opioids ordered at emergency departments in at least two hospitals, Norwalk and Middlesex, from 2016 to 2017. Continue Reading →

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How safe are CT students at school?

While much of the focus – and funding – has been directed at protecting students from another active shooter, data on Connecticut’s public schools show no decline in a number of much more common safety issues schools face, such as fights and other physical confrontations. That lack of progress has fueled a debate over whether the state’s push to reduce student suspensions and expulsions – and instead provide students with supports so they can stay in school – actually is working to make schools safer. Continue Reading →

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Dwindling oversight heightens concern over medical, mental health care for inmates

The recent birth of a baby in an inmate’s cell – as well as large budget cuts, a lack of outside oversight, and a history of complaints – have fueled concerns among some legislators and civil rights groups about the quality of medical and mental health care being provided to Connecticut’s inmates, most of whom eventually will be released. Continue Reading →

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