Members of the Sheff Movement Coalition are calling on Governor Malloy to make school diversity a core educational priority for the state.
Philip Tegeler, a member of the coalition and one of the original lawyers in Connecticut’s landmark Sheff vs. O’Neill school desegregation case, says more attention should be paid to integrating the state’s schools.
"We didn’t really see that on the list of the Governor’s key education priorities in the last version that we saw and we don’t understand why its missing. Especially since CT is already under legal mandate to be doing it."
Tegeler says reducing racial isolation is a proven strategy for closing the achievement gap and increasing graduation rates.
He says there’s already a successful 2-way voluntary integration program in the Hartford area that offers urban students the opportunity to attend suburban schools, and vice versa.
"We have almost 30% of low income children of color in integrated schools through the Sheff v. O’Neill programs. We have 29 inter-district magnet schools and I think about 40 participating suburban districts in the Open Choice program."
He also like more preschools and charter schools included in desegregation efforts.