HARTFORD — Hartford Board of Education Robert Cotto, Jr., will seek reelection in November’s election.
Cotto now serves as board secretary and works as a senior policy fellow with Connecticut Voices for Children. He said that during his four-year tenure, he has been “a leading voice on the Hartford Board of Education for equal educational opportunities for all children in our public schools.” For example, he led policy changes that made school uniforms more affordable for families, made the choice process more accessible through paper applications, and encouraged more of Hartford’s high schools to attain accreditation, he said in a statement to the press.
“Our public schools must help children learn to become engaged, productive, and healthy adults,” Cotto said. “To accomplish that goal, I have used my office to advocate for a rich, broad curriculum for all students, sufficient resources for all schools, better ways of evaluating schools, and collaborating with teachers and parents for school improvement. Across the state, I have protested the inappropriate use of tests to judge schools and award bonuses, excessive disciplinary practices, increasing racial and ethnic isolation, and the privatization of schools.”
In addition, Cotto said his tenure so far includes:
Chairing a policy committee that:
- Proposed a policy for schools to demonstrate quality by attaining accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
- Modified the school uniform policy to stop “sole-source” vendors of uniforms.
- Helped modify policies ranging from School Governance Councils, physical activity and nutrition, to anti-bullying and harassment.
Additional highlights include:
- Authored a resolution to provide paper applications for the local school choice process.
- Authored a resolution for a study on dual-language inter-district magnet programs.
- Helped eliminate bonus pay for top-level administrators.
Proposed policies from the last four years:
- Proposed a policy that would require a vote to accept grants from private donors and foundations that want to change or control Board of Education policy.
- Proposed a policy that would require a three-year term renewal by the Board of Education for all top-level administrators.
- Proposed modifications to the policy on “grading” of children’s schoolwork.