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Connecticut News

Without action from Connecticut lawmakers, approval of historic Sheff v. O’Neill nears

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Lil Keller
/
WSHU Public Radio
Connecticut Superior Court in Hartford

A settlement in a historic school desegregation case is in sight, even after Connecticut lawmakers passed on a chance to vote on it.

The Sheff v. O’Neill case goes back to 1989 when disenfranchised Hartford students and families sued the state over unequal school funding. It led to a 1996 State Supreme Court ruling that the schools were racially isolated. The state reached a settlement with the families earlier this year — nearly three decades later.

The proposed settlement calls for the state to accommodate students in racially segregated neighborhoods who want to attend other schools.

Without a vote in the state General Assembly, the settlement goes to the State Superior Court for final approval. The state would then have to make spaces available for students, as well as commit tens of millions of dollars to magnet schools.

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