Eleven School Board Candidates Attend Public Forum In Hartford
October 28, 2009
HARTFORD — - Eleven candidates vying for four seats on the board of education had an opportunity to let voters know where they stand on a variety of issues facing the school system Tuesday night at the Hartford Public Library.
About 100 people attended the forum, which featured candidates Albert L. Barrueco, Luis Rodriguez-Davila and Lori Hudson, all Democrats; Sharon Patterson-Stallings, Elizabeth Brad Noel and Robert Cotto Jr. of the Working Families Party; Lillian Milly Arciniegas, Cherylann Perry and Mary R. Storey of the Parents Choice slate; Republican Michael J. Fryar; and petitioning candidate Ines Duke Pegeas.
Republican candidates Richard Barton and Nyesha McCauley did not attend.
The candidates answered questions about school reform, funding for magnet schools and neighborhood schools, budget issues, the improving — but still low — high school graduation rate, social promotion, safety in the schools, teacher, student and parent accountability and Superintendent Steven Adamowski's deteriorating relationship with the Hartford Federation of Teachers.
The candidates frequently hit on recurring themes.
For Barrueco, originally from Cuba, it was his bilingual public school experience and his law background.
Fryar, a lawyer who specializes in working with children, said his experience of dropping out of high school gives him a unique perspective in a district that graduated only 42 percent of its high school seniors last year.
Cotto, a teacher in Bloomfield, repeatedly pointed out wasteful spending in the district, including high-paid staff and Adamowski's travel allowance.
Incumbents Rodriguez-Davila, Noel and Patterson-Stallings reminded the audience of the work that they have done on the board.
Duke Pegeas pointed to her own experience as a teacher.
Arciniegas, who with her Parents Choice slate members focused on the need for better communication from the administration, closed the forum to applause by telling the audience that they would continue to be a voice for parents, win or lose come Tuesday.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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