School Choice in Connecticut
The Connecticut State Department of Education’s (CSDE) commitment to public school choice is evident in the five different types of public school choice programming available statewide.
1. Interdistrict Magnet Schools are prekindergarten (PK) through Grade 12 programs that attract students from different school districts to learn together in settings that offer unique, high-quality, themed educational opportunities. Several of these programs provide opportunities for students to receive college credit in high school through school partnerships with higher education or Early College Experience programs. The Regional School Choice Office (RSCO) oversees interdistrict magnet schools in the greater Hartford area.
2. The Open Choice Program allows urban students to attend public schools in participating suburban towns, and suburban and rural students to attend public schools in nearby participating urban districts. Participating school districts declare seats for out of district enrollment on a space-available basis. The program includes Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven and their surrounding districts.
3. Charter Schools are unique PK-12 public schools operated independently of any local or regional board of education. These schools provide small-scale, innovative educational programs overseen by a governing council comprised of teachers, parents, community members and other interested stakeholders. In Connecticut, state and local charter schools are authorized by the SBE.
4. Connecticut Technical High Schools are state-operated public schools that provide students in Grades 9-12 with the opportunity to master skills in trade and technology programs while earning a high school diploma. Students are prepared for immediate employment, apprenticeship programs, college and career.
5. Regional Agricultural Science and Technology Education Centers prepare students for college and careers in the fields of: animal science, aquaculture, biotechnology, food science, environmental science, plant science, marine technology, agricultural mechanics technology and agriculture business as part of their high school program. Similar to interdistrict magnet schools, several of these programs provide opportunities for students to receive college credit in high school.