FAQs

How was the Rodel Foundation established?
The Rodel Foundation of Delaware—along with the Rodel Foundation of Arizona—was established in 1999 when Rodel, Inc. was sold to Rohm and Haas, a specialty chemical company headquartered in Philadelphia. The foundations were established to continue an essential part of the Rodel company’s vision—to make a significant impact on the improvement of society.

Why is the Rodel Foundation focusing on public education?

Bill, Don, and Susan Budinger established the Rodel Foundation of Delaware with the belief that education is the key to the sustained leadership of our country in the global arena. Bill, Don, and Susan are passionate about the relationship between education and issues such as poverty, international affairs, economic vitality, and the health of our communities and the environment. To that end, the Rodel Foundation’s mission is to help Delaware build one of the finest systems of education in the world by 2020. The goal is to provide today’s graduates with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities needed to flourish, create, and lead responsibly.

What does the Rodel Foundation of Delaware support?

The Rodel Foundation strategically invests in initiatives and organizations that further its mission, which is to help Delaware build one of the finest public education systems in the world by 2020. The Rodel Foundation promotes policy changes that can have a huge impact, like raising academic standards, using timely data to make decisions, and investing in our youngest learners. We provide seed funding to innovative, potentially high impact activities. And we help create and lead diverse statewide partnerships that catalyze action. Rodel rarely accepts or responds to unsolicited proposals, inquiries, or letters of intent.

How is the Rodel Foundation supporting great teachers and leaders?

Great teachers and leaders are the most significant part of improving student learning. To help recruit, develop, and retain the best educators in the country we are supporting the state in strengthening all teacher training programs; helping improve the support and development of existing teachers and leaders; and encouraging policies that encourage the best teachers and leaders to work in Delaware and stay in our state. We convened the Rodel Teacher Council to elevate the voices of teachers, represent the diversity of the teaching force in Delaware schools, provide a venue for teachers to weigh in on important issues affecting their work, and help set the course for education improvement in Delaware.

What is personalized learning and how is the Rodel Foundation supporting it?
Personalized learning is an extension of what great teachers already do. It puts the student at the center of the learning environment, and students and teachers work together toward students’ individual learning goals. The Rodel Foundation supports personalized learning by partnering with school districts to pilot leading-edge, personalized strategies; empowering a diverse set of stakeholders to develop a multi-year innovation plan and vision for the state; and promote policies that invest in innovative, personalized school models. The Rodel Teacher Council is focused on personalized learning and produced the Blueprint for Personalized Learning in Delaware.

What is the relationship between Rodel and the Vision Coalition?
The Rodel Foundation of Delaware has invested in a range of transformational efforts geared toward improving student achievement in Delaware. Its most significant investment is in the Vision Coalition of Delaware, which produced Vision 2015, Delaware’s nationally-acclaimed plan to transform Delaware’s public school system and as well as an expanded vision for public education, Student Success 2025. Rodel’s President and CEO, Paul Herdman, serves on the coalition’s Leadership Team.

What is Rodel’s relationship to the Delaware Community Foundation?
The Rodel Foundation of Delaware, a 501(c)(3), is a supporting organization of the Delaware Community Foundation, established under IRC section 509(a)(3). Rodel’s endowment resides within the Delaware Community Foundation and is targeted to Rodel’s mission.

Does the Rodel Foundation support or oppose political candidates?
The Rodel Foundation does not support or oppose any candidate for any level of public office, nor does Rodel invest in other undertakings that are not within appropriate activities for a IRS Section 501(c)(3) organization.

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