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Sen. Murphy calls for increased federal funding of Connecticut magnet schools

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy
Steve Helber
Associated Press
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) held a roundtable discussion on federal legislation that would expand financial support for magnet schools across the state.

Murphy said his bill, co-sponsored with Senator Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), would require magnet schools to use more inclusive practices and increase diversity.

“It’s bad for our kids to grow up not knowing people that are different from them,” said Murphy, speaking at the University of Hartford magnet school, where he said this remains a serious issue. “People that have a different background, different experience, a different set of cultural foundations. Because that’s not how the real world is.”

The bill, also known as the MAGNET Act, would provide grants for school districts that want to create new magnet schools and offer additional funding for those already in operation if they follow diversity and inclusion standards.

Connecticut has 86 magnet schools with nearly 40,000 students in grades pre-K through 12. The state is expected to make more spaces available for students and allocate millions of state dollars to magnet schools. This comes as a settlement for the historic school desegregation case, Sheff v. O’Neill, moves to final approval.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.