The latest installment of our series of interviews with school director candidates across Pennsylvania brings us to the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District.
Bogdan Rosca is running for school board director in Region 2 of the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District, located in Chester County. He is a registered Republican and a technology professional.
Why are you running for school board?
“I decided to run for school board because I think we have a great opportunity, in an increasingly technology-permeated world, to position our children for success. A stronger technology curriculum, covering artificial intelligence, data analytics, and cyber security, could position our children to either earn a good living right out of high school or continue their education in one of the top technology universities. Regrettably, we have not witnessed any emphasis in this area despite glaring and rapid advances in these fields.”
What are the most important issues facing your district?
“There are three top issues facing our district, including the decline of the cost-to-academic level ratio, a lack of financial transparency, and a lack of parental rights and curriculum transparency.
“Our district is experiencing a decline in the cost-to-academic level ratio, even though the number of students enrolled shows signs of decline. We were the best school district in the nation from 2015 to 2017, and now, only six years later, we’re all the way down to ranking 27th. This decline occurred with the enrollment of students declining while spending per student increased by twenty percent. Even if we factor in inflation, we are still left with huge cost increases while academic results are severely degrading.
“Our district lacks financial transparency and has misaligned spending priorities. As shown above, I am not sure we’re investing in what matters to keep our academic success at the top. With the enrollment showing signs of decline over the last two years, I would be cautious about spending taxpayer money on building a new school right now. The Conestoga stadium’s price increased so significantly over the original quote that inflation is unable to account for it. Our budget and the attached expenses that are passed on to the taxpayers through their school tax increase continually. All this while, at the end of each fiscal year, we are showing a surplus. This might be a sign of poor financial planning, at best. I think taxpayers deserve a more transparent and sustainable financial process.
“Parents, as one of the most important stakeholders in the act of public education, should have visibility over what is being taught to their children and what policies are enacted to regulate their behavior while on school grounds. Incidents, when they happen, should be brought to light, discussed, and the learnings used to prevent similar situations in the future. I think mental health, especially in high school, deserves a closer look. We should be teaching our kids, from the early years, resilience and self-awareness so that they can protect themselves during the stressful, competitive high school period.”
What is your professional background/experience? What skills would you bring to the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District?
“I am a passionate technology professional with deep expertise in artificial intelligence, data analytics, and cyber security. As the Head of Data Strategy and Architecture Office at AmerisourceBergen and Director of Research for Data and Analytics at Siemens, I drove significant innovation in my domain and enabled novel business capabilities. The years I spent in healthcare and pharmaceutical companies in Philadelphia and New Jersey gave me unique insight into the technology trends and skills that are in high demand within the local job market.
“At the same time, as an associate professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, I was exposed to gaps universities would be very interested in covering. I believe our school district could be the perfect partner for them. I imagine a mutually beneficial relationship where we can facilitate access for interested students to these established and growing institutions while allowing them to generate a pipeline for future interns and professionals. Such industry and university partnerships could also open up substantial funding opportunities for our schools, thus lowering the pressure on taxpayers. This is critical to me as an advocate for fiscal responsibility, value, and transparency.”
Have you run for political office previously? Have you been politically active?
“This is the first time I am running for office. My son is enrolled in Valley Forge Middle School, and for his sake and the sake of all of the students in the district, I think it is time for parents to re-engage in their children’s quality of education. I was raised in communist Romania, and I understand the harm that can be done by good people not getting involved, so I decided now is the time to act.”
Are you running with other candidates?
“Yes. I am running this campaign with four other like-minded candidates, Deana Wang (region 2), Yan Liu and Regina Mauro (region 1), and Christina Laczko (region 3). To learn more about our campaign, visit our website.”
What is the most important role of the school board, in your opinion?
“I think the most important role of the education system is to produce an optimally functioning society focused on academic achievement and moral standards. In this light, I think the most important role of the school board is to advocate for and represent the interests of students and parents, making sure the system produces good citizens at a cost that is fair and transparent. Specifically, the board should focus on curriculum, policies, and budget.”
We contacted the Democratic and Republican committees in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Montgomery counties and asked them to share the questions with their school director candidates. Broad + Liberty will post the responses throughout the summer to assist voters in learning about the candidates running in their district. The series is open to any school director on the ballot in November. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Broad + Liberty is a nonprofit media endeavor dedicated to sharing voices and stories that are shut out of other media outlets. @BroadAndLiberty