Connecticut: The Constitution State.
With that title, you would expect the notion of “all men are created equal” would be embraced by all. We are proud of our rights and hope to always move forward. However, Connecticut may not be as liberated from the racial lines of our past as we would like to think.
Let’s look at some statistics from the state capital, and compare those to stats from a town in Fairfield County:
86 percent of Darien students are SAT college and career ready. They have a 96.7 percent graduation rate.
Let’s look at the effect income has on Connecticut school systems:
School systems are heavily supported by local property tax. Well-funded chools sponsor plenty of activities such as visiting museums, tutors, SAT prep, enrichment classes and parent associations (raising money) that are accessible by families with extra pocket change.
|Darien, CT 06820
$208,906 median household income
5.4 percent of individuals fall below poverty level
94.1 percent identify as White
0.5 percent identify as African American
|Hartford, CT 06105
$30,483 median household income
29.3 percent of individuals fall below poverty level
34 percent identify as White
40.2 percent identify as African American
Does it really matter if education funding is disproportionate across a state?
Actually, it is in the public’s best interest (socially and economically) to give everyone a good education. Research shows that individuals given a quality education will produce students that achieve gainful employment, and better family lives. Studies show that a quality education produces active, informed citizens who are less likely to commit serious crimes, and will place less demand on the public healthcare system and will be less likely to need welfare.
It is more cost effective to provide quality education.
What needs to change?
A lot. And nothing can be fixed overnight. However, it can begin to change with equal funding (per student), transparency, school board support and proper wages for high-quality teachers.
Children are the voices of our future. Education is essential to that voice.
The bottom line?
Unequal data like this:
26.8 percent of Hartford students met the grade-level expectations in Language Arts.
85.27 percent of Darien students met the grade-level expectations in Language Arts.
…hurts us all.
By Lyndsi Petitti