FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield’s McKinley School was cited for having a racial imbalance by the state Department of Education. The elementary school is one of eight statewide with a disproportionate number of minority students, according to a report released this week by the state.
State law requires each school in a district to have a difference of no more than 25 percent between its minority population and that of the entire district. McKinley’s enrollment this year has a combined nonwhite population of 45.7 percent. Fairfield Public Schools are 18.89 percent minority in total.
The 26.81 percent difference is 1.81 percent above the state’s threshold. But it is an increase since the last time Fairfield dealt with the issue. In 2010-11, McKinley was 25.89 percent higher than the rest of the district, less than a percentage point above the state-set limit.
McKinley has been on the state’s imbalance list since 2007. The Fairfield Board of Education approved a plan to correct the imbalance to within the state’s guidelines in February 2011.
“If the racial imbalance statistics do not improve next year, we will ask the Fairfield Board of Education to amend its plan,” Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor wrote in a letter to the state school board.
The townwide preschool program formerly housed at McKinley had a higher minority population than the rest of the school and was moved to the Early Childhood Center at Fairfield Warde. More students were also added to the same program at Burr to bring up the districtwide average.