In the coming weeks Cityline, will be running brief biographies of the 13 Hartford Board of Education candidates, along with the answers to a question posed to them. They are vying for four elected seats on the nine-member school board. Mayor Eddie A. Perez appoints the other five members. Board members serve four-year terms.
Lillian "Milly" Arciniegas, an endorsed candidate with the Parents Choice Platform, kicks things off. Cityline will try to run a different candidate every day or so until we've got them all.
The question we asked was: What is the most pressing education issue affecting city students and how do you plan to address it?
Achieve Hartford, an independent non-profit that focuses on student achievement and sustained school reform, has undertaken a similar poll of the candidates.
NAME: Lillian "Milly" Arciniegas
AGE: 38 years old
NEIGHBORHOOD YOU LIVE IN: South End
FAMILY: Married with 2 children
PROFESSION: Vice President of Technology
YEARS IN CITY: 27 years
The most pressing educational issue affecting the city's students is reading.
Hartford has one of the worst literacy and poverty rates in the state of Connecticut. Over two-thirds of our students are not able to read proficiently. We not only need to focus on opening up more affordable preschool programs across the city, but we also need to provide families with literacy programs.
Early learning and providing families with literacy programs come hand in hand. Families who cannot afford nor have access to preschool programs often leave their children with relatives who do not get any support on providing early learning at home. Families who are not able to read cannot help their children with their education.
I will make it a priority to work with the district administration to provide family literacy programs at all Hartford schools. In doing so, parents will then be able to assist their children to reach their fullest potential and at the same time become full partners in their child's' education.