The state of Connecticut consists of some of the wealthiest cities in America, but also some of the poorest.
Look at just one county, Fairfield County. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metropolitan area is one of the most unequal areas in the country where “the top 1 percent makes 25 times more than the average of the bottom 99 percent.”
So what does this have to do with segregated schools? Students who live in wealthier towns will attend schools in their area and students who students who live in poorer cities will most likely attend the schools in their area. In the PBS film “Separate and Unequal,” a mother of three boys explains how each of her sons attend different schools in Baton Rouge to fit their needs. She had the option to give her sons the diversity she wished them to have.
However in Connecticut, it’s a bit different. Children go to the schools in the district they live in, unless they are homeless. Is diversity even an option?
When you think of school segregation in the state of Connecticut, you must factor in that cities are already in some sense segregated. Bridgeport, Conn., is a prime example of this— wealthier towns surround it. In 2013, the percentage of minority students enrolled in Bridgeport public schools was 91.
But in places like nearby Fairfield, there is a racial imbalance in the public schools due to the lack of minority representation. Fairfield is a white suburb. See the difference? It is impossible to say that school segregation in the state of Connecticut does not factor in who lives where within the state.
How can schools not be segregated if not enough members of each race are represented within a town? Higher percentages of minorities tend to live in the less wealthy areas while their white counterparts live in the wealthier towns. In order for Connecticut schools to be less segregated, wealthier towns must offer a variety of housing. Or officials could allow students to attend schools outside of their districts.
By Kendra Key