School segregation by the numbers
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Of the 1,271 schools public schools in Connecticut, 38 of those schools lack diversity and do not mirror their districts' overall student demographics.
Each year the State Department of Education informs several districts that they are violating the law by having schools with demographics far less diverse than their district. This year six districts were cited: West Hartford, Greenwich, Groton, Fairfield, Bristol and Hamden.
Connecticut lawmakers passed its racial imbalance law during a time of civil unrest. Martin Luther King had just been assassinated the previous year and people were rioting in cities across the country.
To achieve integration, the law requires districts to report their student demographics for each school. If any school has 25 percent more minorities than the district average, the community must submit a plan to address the imbalance within 60 days.
While there are 1,271 schools statewide, school in many urban districts are often exempt from the law and being segregated because their populations are overwhelmingly made up of ethnic minorities and there's no way to integrate within the district.
The State Board of Education as recent as last year considered recommending changes to this law, but it did not go anywhere.
While this disparity seems to only be impacting 2 percent of Connecticut's schools, next door in New York it seems to be much more of an issue. The New York Times has a great look at New York City School demographics in a recent article titled, "'Why don't we have any white kids?'"