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Marchers head down Main Street in Middletown during an annual celebration Monday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
VANESSA DE LA TORRE / WNPR

Evan Davis was still on the school bus Friday morning, rolling up to Middletown High School at 7:00 am, when he saw a fellow student in the campus parking lot holding a Confederate flag.

Jamle / flickr

They smell better, they're better at sensing temperature changes and they can handle more pain. These are just a few of the actual differences between redheads and the rest of us. But while having red hair does come with certain advantages, there are more than a few disadvantages as well.

Antonio Cruz, a city school bus driver, addresses the Hartford school board at a public hearing Tuesday night. Cruz is the father of Paola Cruz, 9, a student at Batchelder Elementary School, which would close under the district's consolidation plan.
Vanessa de la Torre / WNPR

Antonio Cruz is the father of a 9-year-old at Hartford’s Batchelder Elementary, one of the city neighborhood schools that the superintendent has proposed shutting down this summer.

"The federal government must take bold action to address inequitable funding in our nation's public schools."

So begins a list of recommendations released Thursday by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, an independent, bipartisan agency created by Congress in 1957 to investigate civil rights complaints. Thursday's report comes after a lengthy investigation into how America's schools are funded and why so many that serve poor and minority students aren't getting the resources they say they need.

Justin Brockie / Creative Commons

Across New England, freezing temps and blizzard conditions marked an unforgiving start to 2018.

This hour, we consider the factors underlying this extreme winter weather -- including the role of global climate change. 

mygueart/iStock / Thinkstock

A few years ago, a group of lawyers sued the state, claiming that two students were denied their right to an education because they had been expelled. One of them was a boy of color who moved to another town after he was expelled.

Gerard Chappell working with his dog, Pete, teaching him how to fetch things for a future disabled veteran.
David DesRoches / WNPR

Inside Enfield Correctional Institution there are all the expected security measures: Huge steel doors. Armed guards. Barbed-wire fences. Locked gates. 

Hartford Schools Welcome Adults From Puerto Rico

Jan 2, 2018
David DesRoches / WNPR

KendraLiz Gonzalez had been in cosmetology school for only two months when Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico, destroying her school. So she took her twin girls, hopped on a plane, and came to Hartford, where she's staying with her aunt.

Children in the mountain town of Orocovis returned to school two weeks ago after a two-month pause following Hurricane Maria. The school doesn't have electricity, so it lets out at 12:30 pm.
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Puerto Rican effort to advance from response to recovery after Hurricane Maria continues. For some, water and electricity are still elusive. And that makes it hard to get back to normal — especially for children.

Creative Commons

Connecticut is among the worst states in the country when it comes to being financially literate, according to a recent report by Champlain College.

It's no secret that we've had a rough fall and winter with natural disasters. Even as we write this, fires burn in Southern California, adding to the previous wildfires in the northern part of the state that burned over 245,000 acres in October.

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey devastated communities across Florida and Texas, while touching communities in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, the Carolinas and Louisiana.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut's Board of Regents are moving forward with a plan to dramatically restructure the state's community colleges. The board approved the proposal on Thursday, which would consolidate the 12 schools into one system with 12 campuses.

The system has been struggling financially for years as state funds have dwindled. The move is expected to save about $28 million dollars annually through staff cuts and resource sharing.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Ten months after the tragic death of Hartford teenager Matthew Tirado -- a look at what’s being done to safeguard the lives of children with disabilities.

Coming up, we hear about a recent Office of the Child Advocate investigation into the case of 17-year-old Tirado.

The report recommends improvements that apply to school districts statewide. 

WNPR/David DesRoches

Justin Rosa wasn't doing so great when he first moved to Connecticut from Florida in eighth grade.

"That process alone was very difficult, losing all my friends, having to start over, it was such a hard time for me,” he said. “I was very depressed." 

The once-outgoing kid began to retreat into his own head. And that's when the thoughts began.

"To be alone was such a…  a scary point in my life,” he said. “I thought that I would have committed suicide. And it wasn't until the Choose Love Foundation that everything changed."

In 2001, not long after Oklahoma had adopted one of the nation's first universal pre-K programs, researchers from Georgetown University began tracking kids who came out of the program in Tulsa, documenting their academic progress over time.

In a new report published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management today, researchers were able to show that Tulsa's pre-K program has significant, positive effects on students' outcomes and well-being through middle school.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

Members of Connecticut’s legislative delegation are participating in “Days of Kindness” this week, events designed to recognize the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

A jittery group of middle-schoolers is about to start the first day of classes since September, when Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico and totally disrupted the island's school system.

The vast majority of the island's public schools — more than 98 percent — are open for at least part of the day, according to Puerto Rico's Department of Education.

David DesRoches / WNPR


On a cold December morning, fifth-grade teams at Simpson-Waverly School in Hartford are making skyscrapers.

alkruse24 / Creative Commons

Sixteen years after the U.S. entered into war with Afghanistan -- a look at one woman's efforts to inform and inspire young Afghan girls.

This hour, Shabana Basij-Rasikh talks about her upbringing under the Taliban in Kabul and about her experience co-founding SOLA -- the School of Leadership, Afghanistan

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Amid talk of consolidation -- what lies ahead for Hartford Public Schools?

This hour, Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez is back to answer our questions and hear from you.

Are you the parent or guardian of a Hartford Public School student? Do you have questions or comments concerning your child’s future in the district? We take your calls, tweets, and emails.

And later: What is the value of arts investment? We find out from a team of local and national experts. 

mygueart/iStock / Thinkstock

House Republicans are coming under fire for their proposal to tax the cost of tuition for graduate students. Critics fear that if the bill becomes law, only the wealthy would be able to afford to get advanced degrees.

Mark Moz / Flickr

Across the country, teachers are being shut out of some housing markets due to their low wages. That's according to a report by the National Council on Teacher Quality. But the outlook in Connecticut is a little better.

After gunman Kevin Janson Neal killed his wife and then two neighbors Tuesday morning he headed for Rancho Tehama Elementary School, weapons in hand.

It was just before 8 a.m. when teachers heard the crackle of gunfire in the small, rural town of Rancho Tehama, in Northern California. The elementary school — with about 100 students and 9 staff — immediately went on lockdown.

Wikimedia Commons

The idea for a gender-neutral bathroom at Three Rivers Community College has been on the table for at least two years by one account, and up to four by others.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

At least 600 students from hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico have now registered in Connecticut schools. 

David DesRoches / WNPR

As the state prepares to consolidate its community colleges, the system’s president has been fielding some tough questions from faculty and students in public forums.

University of Hartford.

UPDATE, appended 4/26/19.

A former philosophy professor from the University of Hartford is suing the school after he said he was stalked by a student with a mental illness for seven years, and the university failed to protect him.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Much of Puerto Rico remains devastated six weeks after Hurricane Maria, with many areas lacking access to electricity and clean water. The disaster has led some Puerto Rican families to relocate to the mainland.

This hour, family ties bring many evacuees to Connecticut--so how is our state welcoming these new arrivals in our community?

Mark Goebel / Creative Commons

The head of a national organization to end housing discrimination believes that the recent harassment case at the University of Hartford could violate the Fair Housing Act. 

Students from the University of Hartford have been taking to social media over the university's handling of a dispute between roommates that ended in an arrest.

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