Segregation & Education
The racial demographic makeup of Connecticut's student population is roughly 50% white and 50% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). However, by and large, Connecticut's school districts do not represent this diverse student population. Instead, the segregation across Connecticut's cities and towns has a direct impact on the racial and economic makeup of Connecticut's school districts.
Find out how Connecticut's education finance system and segregated school districts have resulted in $639 million racial funding gap
School District Segregation
As a result, Connecticut’s public school districts are highly segregated with most students attending a district where more than 75% of the students are white, or a district where more than 75% of the students are BIPOC.
In fact, more than half of all Black students attend a district where the white student population is less than 25% of the district’s total enrollment. Additionally, a majority of the state’s BIPOC students are concentrated in less than 15 districts, and over 40% of Connecticut’s BIPOC students who attend a local public school district attend one where the total student population is over 75% BIPOC.
Use the maps below to view these disparities and see the enrollment and demographic information for each local and regional public school district, charter school, and Regional Educational Service Center (RESC). Hover over a district on the map to view its specific data and information for the selected metric. To search for a district on one of the maps, click on the magnifying glass below the map legend.
Learn more about the landmark court case Sheff v. O'Neill, and how it aimed to desegregate Hartford Public Schools
Exacerbating this segregation is the fact that districts with higher percentages of BIPOC students generally serve students with greater learning needs (such as English Learners or students from economically disadvantaged households) but spend less per student. Oppositely, Connecticut public school districts with higher percentages of white students serve students with less learning needs but spend more per student.
Plainly stated: districts with greater needs, and more students of color, tend have fewer financial resources.
Use the maps below to see how these disparities in race and wealth play out between bordering communities.
For the map underneath the "Student Race" tab, each red dot represents a segregated border where there is at least a 20 percentage point difference between the percentage of BIPOC students served by the Base District (shaded in yellow) and the percentage of BIPOC students served by the Neighbor District (shaded in blue).
For the map underneath the "Low-Income" tab, each red dot represents a segregated border where there is at least a 20 percentage point difference between the percentage of economically disadvantaged students served by the Base District (shaded in yellow) and the percentage of economically disadvantaged students served by the Neighbor District (shaded in blue)
Hover over a red dot on the map to view the data for each of the bordering districts and to see the calculated difference between the two. To search for a district on one of the maps, click on the magnifying glass below the map legend.
1. Some values appearing as 0% in the visualizations above may represent instances where data has been suppressed by the Connecticut State Department of Education to ensure student confidentiality.
2. The School and State Finance Project uses BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) to refer to individuals who self-identify as American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; Black or African American; Hispanic/Latino of any race; Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; or two or more races. Individual demographic categories and data used in the visualizations above comes from the Connecticut State Department of Education. The acronym BIPOC is used in an effort to be as inclusive, succinct, and accurate as possible when using racial and ethnic demographics in our work. However, we know no single acronym, identifier, or label can accurately define an individual or fully encompass the rich diversity of cultures, heritages, and backgrounds represented in the demographic data we use. For questions or comments about the demographic terms we use, please contact us at email@example.com.