Officials looking to expand school choice to address overcrowding in city school districts

Connecticut

(WTNH) — There is a new proposal to expand school choice to address overcrowding in many city school districts.

“Open choice” allows suburban schools with declining enrollment to voluntarily offer seats to nearby urban districts that may be struggling with too many students. The program is not available in Danbury or Norwalk.

In his recent budget address, Governor Ned Lamont proposed expanding the program to those two cities at a cost of $900,000.

It’s part of his “More Affordable Connecticut” priority, which is designed in strengthening the middle class.

“At minimal cost to the state, we can lessen the impact of overcrowding, provide life-changing opportunities, to expand educational opportunities,” said Sen. Will Haskell.

The current Open Choice program serves about 3,000 students per year in Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport. Connecticut covers the costs of transportation for students to get to their new school. The cost to educate the student is split among the districts.

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