Reimagine Radnor History

Reimagine Radnor grew from the Reopen Radnor Safely group of parents that advocated for a safe return to in-person learning last year.  Today, we are a bipartisan group of dedicated Radnor parents who came together because we believe that poor leadership and bad decisions made by the four incumbent School Board candidates running for reelection directly hurt our schools and our children.  

 

We believe it is time to hold them to account. 

 

Reimagine Radnor’s board is made up of 4 Democrats, 1 Independent and 3 Republicans. 

We judge political candidates by their actions – not by their party.  This is not about being a Republican or Democrat – it is about fulfilling a fundamental educational need for each and every student in Radnor.  

Any suggestion that our group is “partisan” or "right wing" is a lie.  Perhaps it is a lie to distract from the terrible track record of certain School Board members. 

We are a large and diverse group, and while we disagree about plenty of national political issues – we all agree that we have lost faith in certain incumbent Board candidates and believe that we can no longer place our children’s future education in their hands.

We want to refocus on our students.  We want to restore fiscal sanity.  We want to Reimagine Radnor.

We want board members who understand the needs of our schools and students and who will listen and better represent the Radnor community. This is why we are proud to endorse Beth Connor, Dave Falcone, Laura Foran and Bob Whitehead.

Candidates for Change

Covid was terrible for everyone – but certain incumbent School Board members let us down.  Each of us has children who have suffered more than they should have as a result of poor choices made by the Board.  

 

Our schools were not open for full-time education until March 2021, while private schools in the area found a way to open full-time from the start of the 2020 school year.  Radnor buses drove many of the private school kids to school every day while our kids were stuck at home on zoom school.

Put our students first
Focus on Learning

Instead of focusing on getting our schools open full-time, or addressing learning loss and mental health issues during the pandemic, the Board led over 40 Board meetings regarding the school mascot.  

They also held over 40 planning meetings for the $29.7 million high school athletic complex upgrade while schools were still not open full-time and our kids were suffering considerably.

Restore Fiscal Sanity
Tax increases and imprudent spending

The Board raised taxes twice during the worst recession and highest unemployment of our lifetimes despite receiving $5.8 million of federal stimulus ESSER funds.  Delaware county property value reassessment sets the stage for more tax hikes in the future.

They approved a $29.7 million ADA and wellness infrastructure project at the high school in 2020 during the pandemic and recession while schools were not open full time.  Obviously, the ADA compliant upgrades were needed, but in 2016 when the issue was identified the total project cost was less than $6 million.  By 2019 the scope of the project expanded well beyond the needed ADA upgraded and cost grew to $18 million.  The scope and cost rose again to $28 million in January 2020 just before the pandemic.  We feel this project should have been postponed during the severe recession and should have been reevaluated after the educational needs of our kids had been assessed after twelve months of partial or closed school.  The world changed after the pandemic.  And, the school district will have to take on $29.7 million of additional debt to fund the project, which will require future tax increase or other spending cuts.  Meanwhile, many other educational priorities remain underfunded.

Restore Fiscal Sanity  
Our debt balance is insane

Radnor School District has accumulated $240.4 million of debt and long-term liabilities (which is an astounding $65k per student, and 2.4x tax revenue), not including the $30 million of new debt needed for an ADA accessibility project and athletic upgrade.  They mortgaged our future; servicing this large debt balance will require future spending cuts and tax increases. 

(source: FY 2019-20 Audit Report Note 6, page 35, https://www.rtsd.org/Page/361)

Projected $5.9 million budget deficit budget deficit for next 3 years, in addition to the $2.4 million deficit accumulated over the past two years. 

(source: https://www.rtsd.org/cms/lib/PA01000218/Centricity/Domain/40/Final%20Budget%2020-21.pdf)

The Board stopped responding to public comments after receiving much criticism.  They also did not disclose experts or methodology for key decisions.

 

Certain Board members ignored the desires of the community, for example voted to close school, while more than 80% of parents desperately wanted them open.  They voted on a costly project to rebrand the mascot and discard decades of tradition without properly involving the community.  

Full transparency
represent our community

While many of the Reimagine Radnor team disagree on national politics – we all agree on the need for school board change in Radnor.

Local elections are different
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