Name: Claude Falcone
Municipality: Newtown Square
Running For (include district/ward if applicable): One of nine Marple Newtown school board seats
Positions Held Previously/Years in Office: This is my first time running for political office and I am not beholden to a patronage job.
What are the larger issues facing the district and how would you like to see them resolved?
One issue is that people take their children out of the district after elementary and middle school and put them in private schools. Marple-Newtown needs to raise the quality of education at the high school level to retain these students. This is a good school district that has to become better so that parents wouldn’t want to send their children anywhere else.
Classroom discipline is an issue that nobody wants to talk about, but the lack of classroom discipline can result in sub-standard instruction. I am a proponent of in-school suspension and restorative practices.
We live in a technological age and our students need to be given better instruction for technology in the job world and at home.
How would you create a balance between spending taxpayer dollars and quality education?
I would develop a strategic spending plan to strengthen academic and extracurricular programs.
Public education is currently under attack by a hostile governor and legislature who raised all of our taxes through the defunding of education at the state level. Yes, Republicans raised all of our local taxes. Local school districts were forced to raise school taxes or settle for sub-standard education.
Reductions at an administrative level would help save taxpayers and have virtually no effect on the quality of classroom instruction.
I would champion technology, sports, arts and music programs to make the Marple Newtown educational experience second to none.
How can you improve school district and board transparency with residents?
I would attempt to limit “executive committee” behind the scenes meetings.
I would attempt to enhance communication with the community through televised board meetings and increased publication of budget and tax issues.
Why should residents give you their vote?
I am a graduate of the class of 1977. I have lived in both Marple and Newtown Townships. I grew up in Lawrence Park and now I live in St. Albans. I am a professional educator with more than 20 years of classroom experience. I have taught thousands of high school and college students and trained hundreds of soldiers. I hold a Master’s degree in Education.
Having even one Democrat on the board would provide for more healthy discourse and open government. I have a stake in quality education in this district since my daughter currently attends Marple Newtown High School. I want to keep my property value up with quality public school education. I will promote quality education while balancing financial responsibility.