Neighboring CT school districts have some of nation's starkest inequalities, new data shows

Connecticut is home to some of the nation's starkest inequality between neighboring school districts, new data shows.

As part of a project examining disparities in education, the Washington D.C.-based think tank New America analyzed thousands of adjacent school systems across the U.S., comparing the median household income of one district against the other. By this measure, previously unpublished data shows, Connecticut is home to 23 of the top 300 most unequal borders in the country, including eight of the top 100.

In most cases, these borders are between the state's largest cities and their suburbs, though in some instances the disadvantaged district is a small city or suburb. The border between Hartford and South Windsor represents the starkest disparity, followed by Hartford and West Hartford, Bridgeport and Fairfield, Bridgeport and Trumbull, and Waterbury and Cheshire.

Only three states have more entries on the top 100 than Connecticut, and all three (California, Ohio and New Jersey) have much larger populations.

Zahava Stadler, project director for New America's Education Funding Equity initiative, attributed Connecticut's prominence on the list to the state's high level of inequality, as well as its tightly drawn town borders and municipally run school systems.

"It is absolutely notable that a state of the size of Connecticut has so many of the 100 most segregating borders by this metric, and it tells us two things," Stadler said. "One, there's a lot of inequality in the state of Connecticut, and it's showing up in our schools. And two, Connecticut has altogether too many school districts."


Neighboring CT school districts have some of nation's starkest inequalities, new data shows, Alex Putterman, CT Insider, March 26, 2024, available here

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