In 1989, fourth-grader Milo Sheff became the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the segregation of Hartford-area public schools. Seven years later, the Supreme Court of Connecticut ruled that "the needy schoolchildren of Hartford have waited long enough," and urged the legislature and executive branches of the Connecticut government to put school integration "at the top of their respective agendas." Over a decade after the Court's ruling, Hartford-area schools remain divided by race and class. Though interdistrict magnet schools and other programs have given some of the region's children access to quality, integrated educational opportunities, fewer than one in 10 Hartford-resident students of color attends an integrated school.
On Friday, April 4, the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), the Center for Children’s Advocacy and cooperating attorneys struck an agreement with the state of Connecticut to implement compliance with a longstanding order from the state Supreme Court to desegregate Hartford public schools. The agreement, the latest stage in the case of Sheff v. O’Neill, for the first time requires the state to create a detailed roadmap to follow in its effort to end the racial segregation faced by Hartford’s minority schoolchildren. Read the press release >>
The Hartford Courant has urged the legislature to take action to approve the settlement, citing the numerous benefits of diverse educational environments. Read the Courant's editorial >>
More information on the case can be found on the following sites and in the links below: