Outcome Area:

Decreased barriers to student progress for students in the region's highest-need districts


All children should receive a high-quality education. The Hartford Foundation has a decades-long tradition of making educational investments and partnering with local school districts. Moving forward, we will work to decrease barriers to student progress in our highest-need districts by focusing on disparities by Race, Place and Income.

Students in Greater Hartford’s seven highest-need districts – Bloomfield, East Hartford, Hartford, Manchester, Vernon, Windsor and Windsor Locks – face a disproportionate number of barriers to success, including higher rates of chronic absenteeism. In Hartford, these disparities are especially pronounced, with absenteeism rates twice that of the other highest-need districts. 

  • 12% of all students in Greater Hartford were chronically absent. Those rates were substantially higher for Black and Latinx students compared to their white peers.1 
    • Latinx students: 22%
    • Black students: 15%
    • White students: 7%
  • Chronic absenteeism rates of students from low-income households are more than 4x higher than their peers from higher-income households.2 
  • The rate of chronic absenteeism is considerably higher in Harford than inner and outer ring suburbs.3 
    • Hartford: 25%
    • Inner ring suburbs: 10%
    • Outer ring suburbs: 6%
  • Black and Latinx students face further disconnection to school as a result of being disciplined in school more frequently than their white peers.4 Rates of students suspended or expelled at least once during the school year:
    • Black students: 14%
    • Latinx students: 11%
    • White students: 4%



The Foundation, using our resources and working closely with school district leaders, our nonprofit partners and other stakeholders, will prioritize activities that:

  1. Assess and address disparities by race/ethnicity, place and income that impact student progress.
  2. Collaborate with districts to support family, school and community partnerships that address barriers to student progress.

Efforts we support include: