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10 Years Later: An Updated Look at CT's District Reference Groups (DRGs)

May 24, 2016 - less than 1 minute

The District Reference Groups (DRGs) classification system, used by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), groups local public school districts together based on the similar socioeconomic status of their students. DRGs are useful in making comparisons among districts and can provide both district leaders and policymakers with helpful context when making resource decisions. The DRGs, which were last updated in 2006, are classified by letters A through I, with DRG A consisting of very affluent, low-need suburban districts and DRG I consisting of the state’s urban districts that have high socioeconomic needs.

The Connecticut School Finance Project has updated the DRGs to determine what they would look like today. The 2016 DRGs were determined through calculations by the Connecticut School Finance Project and are not official classifications produced by the Connecticut State Department of Education. While the 2016 DRGs listed are not official, they were calculated using the same cluster analysis methodology and variables used by the CSDE in 2006 to determine the current DRGs.

Visit for an interactive look at the updated DRGs.

Note: To be consistent with CSDE's methodology, Kent, North Canaan, Sharon, Sprague, and Union have not been included in this analysis, as updated Educational Attainment data for these districts is unavailable.


Connecticut School Finance Project. (2016). 10 Years Later: An Updated Look at CT's District Reference Groups (DRGs). New Haven, CT: Author. Retrieved from


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