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Connecticut News

Families File Lawsuit Over Racial Quotas At Hartford Magnet Schools

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Dave Collins
/
AP
Lashawn Robinson and her son, Jarod, in Hartford on Thursday. Robinson and other parents say race-based student quotas at Hartford magnet schools are unconstitutional and have kept many minority children from attending.

Seven African-American and Hispanic families filed a civil rights lawsuit against Connecticut and Hartford officials on Thursday. The families are challenging race-based student quotas at the city's magnet schools, saying hundreds of seats in the schools are unfilled because of a complicated formula imposed on the city,  following the landmark school desegregation case Sheff v. O’Neill.  

The formula limits magnet schools to 75 percent minority student enrollment. With fewer white children enrolling than expected, there have been fewer seats for minority students under that 75 percent formula.

The families say because of that, their children have been forced to attend lower-performing, more segregated schools.

State and city officials declined to comment.