State Board of Education addresses racial imbalance in Fairfield schools

The state says McKinley Elementary School in Fairfield has too high a percentage of students of color and ordered the district to make changes.

Mark Sudol

Mar 6, 2024, 10:27 PM

Updated 42 days ago

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The state Board of Education addressed racial imbalance in schools on Wednesday.
The town of Fairfield is focused on one school in particular, and it's an issue that has gone on for nearly two decades.
Members of Fairfield Public Schools, including Superintendent Mike Testani, went before the state Board of Education in Hartford.
The state says McKinley Elementary School in Fairfield has too high a percentage of students of color and ordered the district to make changes.
The entire Fairfield school district currently has 20.7% minorities in its student population.
McKinley has 47.9%. The state says that number should not exceed 25%.
"I think if we disband this school just to get a number down because as was mentioned earlier looking at a single data point, I think we would do a lot more harm to those students," said Testani.
People in Fairfield have taken issue with this idea because it involves redistricting students based on racial imbalance rather than distance to a school.
The school district has worked hard over the last year to address the issue.
Testani is asking the state Board of Education for help.
"We are asking for some support in providing us with someone that can come in, maybe take a look at everything we've done and provide some guidance in the area," said Testani.
The state Board of Education voted to require an updated racial imbalance plan from the Fairfield Board of Education within 120 days or no later than July 3.
Three Greenwich elementary schools were considered racially imbalanced and also went before the state board Wednesday.


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