Milestone agreement in Sheff vs. O’Neill school desegregation case adds 1,000 magnet school seats to ease racial isolation of Hartford students

Hartford Courant
January 10, 2020

Civil rights lawyers and the state have reached a milestone agreement in the 30-year-old Sheff vs. O’Neill school desegregation case that adds more than 1,000 new magnet school seats and improves the school choice lottery in a system long plagued by a racial imbalance.

Martha Stone, the original Sheff lawyer, and Attorney General William Tong told Superior Court Judge Marshall Berger Friday that the agreement, while not coming close to meeting the actual demand for magnet school seats, provides a blueprint for more permanent solutions to racial isolation in and around Hartford.

The agreement follows by three years a Courant investigation that found some seats were artificially kept open to avoid racial imbalances, which penalized minority children in Hartford.

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