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Courant: Nearly 16,000 Apply To School Lottery; Only 4,153 Win Spots

Monday April 23, 2012

Nearly 16,000 Apply To School Lottery; Only 4,153 Win Spots
An Additional 560 Spots In Magnet Schools To Be Offered
by Kathleen Megan
April 23, 2012
©The Hartford Courant

More than 10,000 Hartford area children who wanted to attend an interdistrict magnet school or participate in the state’s Open Choice program were turned down in the first round of placements, according to state figures available Monday night.

Jim Polites, spokesman for the state Department of Education, said in an e-mail that 15,789 students entered the Greater Hartford Regional School Choice lottery.

Of those, about one-fourth won a spot, with 3,758 placed in magnet schools and 395 placed in the Open Choice program. Under Open Choice, city students can seek a spot in a suburban classroom, while suburban public school students can apply to attend Hartford schools.

Polites said the state’s Greater Hartford Regional School Choice Office is in the process of offering magnet school placements to an additional 560 applicants.

State Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor said, “We need to provide more high-quality public school options for our students… Clearly parents and students want them.”

Rep. Douglas McCrory, D-Hartford, said it’s unfortunate for students to feel “I have to hit the lottery to get a good education.”

Of the applicants, about 5,700 were from Hartford, and about 10,000 were from the suburbs.

The state can meet the terms of the Sheff vs. O’Neill desegregation case if by October 2012, 80 percent of Hartford students are attending a school of their choice, or if at least 41 percent of Hartford minority studnets are enrolled in integrated schools.

Link: http://www.courant.com/news/education/hc-school-lottery-0424-20120423,0,4098816.story