Thursday, August 13, 2015

School integration and the legacy of Connecticut's Sheff v. O'Neill

When I teach State & Local Government Law, I have students read Sheff v. O'Neill, 238 Conn. 1 (1996), a legendary case in which the Connecticut Supreme Court relied upon state constitutional provisions to require what is effectively de-segregation of the State's schools.  ("We therefore hold that, textually, article eighth, section 1, as informed by article first, section 20, requires the legislature to take affirmative responsibility to remedy segregation in our public schools, regardless of whether that segregation has occurred de jure or de facto.").  

This past week, the NPR radio show The American Life, did an entire hour-long program on what has happened in Hartford schools in the last twenty years trying to implement Sheff.  It is a fascinating story and well worth a listen.  Listen here.

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