Parents protest call to leave long-neglected school

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Martin Luther King School Hartford

HARTFORD — A plan to move students from a decaying Hartford schoolhouse to a neighboring building’s lower level is stirring cries of discrimination in a predominantly black neighborhood.

Renovation work has been put off for years at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, and officials say the 1920s-era building is in disrepair.

Some parents say the 350 students will not be any better off across the street, where students as young as 4 may be sharing a hallway and bathrooms with students as old as 15. A long-term plan is being developed but no alternative is currently in sight.

Education Board Chairman Richard Wareing says he understands why parents are upset. But he says there probably is no money for improvements that have been promised over the last decade.