Sheff vs. O’Neill

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Landmark CT desegregation case heads back to court

The administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, which is under a court order to desegregate Hartford schools, is attempting to redefine a segregated school – from one that is more than 75 percent minority to one that is more than 80 percent minority. The change would raise the threshold at which the state is responsible for stepping in to desegregate a school but also might allow more minority students to attend some magnet schools. Continue Reading →

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New data: Majority of Hartford schools still segregated; some progress made

Twenty years after the Connecticut Supreme Court ordered the state to eliminate the inequities caused by the isolation of black and Hispanic students in its capital city, data released Thursday show that the majority of Hartford’s children still attend segregated schools – though not as many as last year. Continue Reading →

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Leaders struggle with next steps in desegregating schools

As pressure mounts on Connecticut to desegregate schools in ways other than opening expensive magnet schools, educators, political leaders and advocates – including U.S. Education Secretary John B. King – discussed how to break a stalemate on making further progress. Continue Reading →

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$20M agreement will expand school choice to desegregate Hartford schools

State officials agreed Monday to offer 1,325 more children living in Hartford seats in existing magnet or suburban public schools next school year. The agreement is the latest result of an 18-year-old Connecticut Supreme Court decision that ordered the state to eliminate the educational inequities caused by the capital city’s segregated schools. Continue Reading →

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School choice: Future of new magnet schools uncertain

When state legislators placed a moratorium on building new magnet schools outside the capital region five years ago, they wanted to know if these schools were worth the large investment before boosting enrollment further. So they ordered the state education commissioner to assess magnet school performance and submit a plan for their future. That plan is now four years late, magnet schools approved before the moratorium will probably be full by the start of the next school year, research is incomplete on their impact and many legislators are reluctant to open new schools. Continue Reading →

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60 years after Brown vs. Board of Education: Still separate in Connecticut

It was 60 years ago this Saturday that the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision outlawing segregation in the nation’s schools. But in many large Connecticut cities, racial isolation in schools is as bad as ever. Continue Reading →

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Report: Many Connecticut charter schools ‘hyper-segregated’

State law requires education leaders to “reduce racial, ethnic and economic isolation” to advance the state’s interests, but an advocacy group reports that most of Connecticut’s charter schools are “hyper-segregated.”
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Hartford parents are divided on integrating CT’s schools

It has been the state’s primary strategy to comply with an order from the Connecticut Supreme Court to reduce educational inequalities in Hartford by providing an integrated education for children who live in Hartford. But 17 years after the court ruled in the landmark Sheff vs. O’Neill lawsuit, parents disagree on the effect it has had. Continue Reading →

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By the numbers: Integrating schools in CT

Over the last 10 years, the state has spent about $2.5 billion to offer Hartford students enrollment in an integrated school. Most of the state’s spending has gone toward opening new magnet schools in the region to encourage Hartford minority students and white students from the suburbs to enroll. Continue Reading →

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Nearly half the students from Hartford now attend integrated schools

Nearly half of the students from Hartford now attend integrated schools, the state reports — 17 years after the Connecticut Supreme Court ordered the state to eliminate the educational inequities caused by the segregation of Hartford’s overwhelmingly black and Hispanic school population. “We are proud of the progress we’ve made to date,” said Kelly Donnelly, a spokeswoman for the State Department of Education. The news that 8,374 Hartford students attend “integrated” schools — a term used when less than three-quarters of a school’s student population are minorities — comes as state officials and plaintiffs’ attorneys in the Sheff vs. O’Neill desegregation case negotiate whether to provide even more students with an integrated education. “We will continue to work toward our collective goal: ensuring that all children in Hartford have access to the quality educational opportunities they deserve in their community,” Donnelly said in a statement. Continue Reading →

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Deadline passes for agreement on reforms to desegregate Hartford schools

The deadline has passed for state officials to reach an agreement on how to desegregate Hartford’s predominantly black and Hispanic public schools. “As of right now, we don’t have an agreement,” said Martha Stone, the lawyer behind the school desegregation lawsuit that led to the Connecticut Supreme Court ordering the state to reduce the inequities caused by racial and ethnic isolation. In April, Attorney General George Jepsen and Stone signed a court order that set an Oct. 1 deadline for the parties to outline how to further integrate Hartford’s 21,000-student school system. The state has spent billions of dollars since the Sheff vs. Continue Reading →

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Must the state provide every Hartford student a seat in an integrated school?

As a court-ordered deadline approaches for state officials to outline how they will desegregate Hartford’s public schools, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy drew a line in the sand on what he is willing to agree to. Thirty-seven percent of Hartford students attended integrated schools last school year –- 4 percentage points shy of the 41 percent benchmark the state agreed to reach by now. Malloy said Friday the state should not be forced to agree to make changes to increase that percentage further. “Let me be very clear, I don’t think failing to reach a standard is a reason to then raise the standard,” he said. “I don’t have a problem with the benchmarks as they currently exist. Continue Reading →

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