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Courant LTE: Glastonbury Should Open Doors To Hartford Students

Saturday May 31, 2014

Glastonbury Should Open Doors To Hartford Students
by Suzann Beckett, Hartford
May 31, 2014
©The Hartford Courant

As a current Hartford resident and former Glastonbury resident, I find recent newspaper articles as to public education somewhat ironic. The Courant laments the lack of high-quality schools for Hartford children and yet, 12 miles away, the Glastonbury Citizen reports the anticipated closure of two elementary schools due to declining enrollment.

What if those seats were offered to Hartford students through the CT Open Choice program?

In 2013, the Glastonbury school board accepted 53 Hartford students through Open Choice (just 0.7% of the student body). Other towns take considerably more: Berlin (3.1% of its student body are Hartford Open Choice students), Avon (2.9%), Granby (3.8%), Plainville (4.3%), Suffield (3.4%), Canton (3.9%) and East Windsor (3.9%).

Sixty years post-Brown v. Board of Education, and 25 years post-Sheff v. O’Neill, we’ve made great strides in creating educational opportunity. The Glastonbury-East Hartford magnet school is one example. Unfortunately, all of the magnet and Open Choice schools have long waiting lists.

Declining enrollment may be the perfect opportunity for Glastonbury to give back to its Hartford neighbor, while at the same time reaping the significant benefit of keeping Naubuc and Eastbury schools open. It seems like a win-win opportunity to me.

Link to article: http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/letters/hcrs-20401–20140528,0,6323546.story