Cara Demers: Even 60 years later, segregation still exists in Connecticut

New Haven SchoolIn May of 1954, the Supreme Court ended to school segregation with Brown v. Board of Education. Fast-forward 60 years later, and Connecticut schools are still segregated, both by race and socioeconomic class. Given the amount of income inequality and the segregation that comes with it, it’s no wonder.

Perhaps it’s the state of Connecticut where, despite efforts to level the playing field, is packed with public, private and specialized schools — 480 high schools in total, the names of which can be found here.

In fact, the wealthiest areas are 93 percent white, while only 16 percent of the state’s residents are living in poor areas. How could we expect schools not to be similar? Even here, DataHaven reports that Greater New Haven area schools rank among the most racially segregated in the country.

And with less wealth comes less funding, which means less opportunities for students. Enrichment programs, for example, are something that Connecticut’s poorest schools lack. According to Realize the Dream, “minority students are always underrepresented in the available classes.”

To put this into perspective, Hartford schools reported that only 14.2 percent of their students met or exceeded math standards, according to ThinkProgress. Hartford is just one of the many Connecticut cities that has struggled with public schooling.

 

So why does school segregation even matter? Without any sort of initiative to integrate amongst races and wealth, that level playing field may never exist. And how bright does that make our future look?

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