Letter: Board candidate won’t attend forum

To the Editor,

Letters1I am very disappointed that the League of Women Voters’ traditional Meet the Candidates Night for the Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board election will not be taking place this year. The League offered to host a forum for the discussion of issues in the contested race in Region C, however my opponent has declined to participate.

I believe that addressing the issues should be a vital component of any campaign for the School Board. An open and public forum where our residents can ask questions is crucial in helping voters to select a well-qualified candidate. It is a cornerstone of our democratic process to have such forums that are available to everyone and provide for a well-informed electorate.

It is unfortunate that this opportunity will not be offered to our residents to address some of the issues facing our district, including: the budget and the question of exceptions to the Act 1 Index; unfunded mandates from the state and federal governments; future renovations of some of our school buildings; the evaluation and adequate compensation of our educators; and how we can keep pace with the ever-changing educational landscape and the increasing demands on our students.

Therefore, in lieu of a public discussion, I invite you to visit my website at www.leticia4schoolboard.com to learn more about some of these important issues, and to submit your questions. I also invite voters from Pennsbury and Chadds Ford on October 22nd to meet me at the Mushroom Cafe at 9AM and the Starbucks in Glen Mills at 7 p.m., to discuss some of these important issues.

I believe that serving on the Board is a privilege and a responsibility. Answering difficult questions is – and should be – part of that responsibility. I look forward to addressing your issues as School Board Director.

Leticia Flores DeWilde
School Board Director
Unionville-Chadds Ford School District

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  1. Sean C. Rafferty says:

    It’s great that you want to make the school district better. However, I am perplexed at why the board refuses to address the issue of non-resident students attending our schools. When I sent a number of emails to the superintendent recently regarding this very issue, he refused to answer my question as to how he would handle students who are determined not to be residents of the district. I am astonished that we pay to educate non-residents and the school board and the superintendent do not even seem to care. This practice violates Pennsylvania State Law and it needs to be addressed. Also, those who steal education from the Unionville Chadds Ford taxpayers should be prosecuted and forced to make restitution.

    • Kristin Hoover says:

      Well Sean, you seem to have asked the $64,000 question! When you take something that does not belong to you, it’s stealing. The District has known about these people for years and refuses to take any action. Because there is zero transparency in the school district through Dr. Sanville, we can expect that this will continue to be tolerated. However, when people try to do the right thing and pay tuition, even hiring their own attorney to try to get the District to accept their tuition money, they get glibly refused. People need to speak up and you are a hero for doing it!

  2. Observing says:

    While I would like to see the candidates engaged in a discussion of the issues, I must confess that I find the League’s format greatly lacking. The questions are largely “stacked” by supporters of particular candidates (how many times are we going to hear about supporting Andy Dinniman’s legislation to eliminate party affiliation in School Board races?) and the questions actually selected by the ladies running the event were skewed towards parental interest moreso then general community interest. Few questions were ever asked about budgets, tax philosophy, etc. In short, there must be a better way then what has been done in the past.

    • Mike McGann says:

      I totally agree. I used to moderate LWV forums in New Jersey — and I mixed in some audience questions with my own, and would follow up. I found the format stultifying as a candidate and frustrating and often pointless as a journalist. We would, of course, be happy to put on a moderated forum, if it could be put together at this late date.

      • Thanks, Mike. I would be very interested in participating in a forum in which the questions and concerns of all constituents–students, parents, educators, and taxpayers–are addressed. There are more than three weeks left until Election Day which should be plenty of time to plan such an event. I would be happy to arrange my schedule to make myself available. I hope you will reach out to me and my opponent to try and make this happen.

  3. Kristin Hoover says:

    You obviously want to do the right thing and make the school district better. Unfortunately, that is not the sentiment of the Board, the Superintendent or many of the parents in the District. This is the district where things are “never better” and any difficulties are the fault of the problem child or that parent or both. It’s the difference that is the problem. If you believe in STEM or that there is a better way, you will not get far in UCFSD. People want to maintain the status quo at all costs because 507th in the nation is wonderful, 10th best in the State is great and they can’t see past that. UCFSD does this with only 2% economically disadvantaged students and an 8% minority population. Makes one wonder why they aren’t higher on the list, given such homogeneity and fine facilities. But, as Ronald Reagan said, “there you go again” thinking this district could and should be better.

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