Rodel’s Paul Herdman Has To Love His Insane $398,000 (And Counting) Salary! Plus: Rodel’s Friends Make Big Bucks Too!

Paul Herdman

Based on their 2015 tax filing, the Rodel Foundation of Delaware Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Paul Herdman, makes an astonishing $398,000.  Keep in mind this was in 2015 so he is most likely well over that pesky $400,000 barrier.  Good lord!  I found lots of interesting stuff in this tax filing, signed off by Dr. Paul Herdman on May 12th, 2017.  As well, I looked up some of Rodel’s best friends and found TONS of information on them as well!

Rodel Foundation of Delaware:

  • Paul Herdman, President and CEO: $398,064
  • Madeline Baynard, Vice-President, Policy: $179,751
  • Rex Varner, Chief Operating Officer: $232,594
  • Fred Sears II, Treasurer: $282,863

Board Members of note (in 2015): Rodman Ward III, Tony Allen, Raye Jones Avery, Donald-William-Sue Budinger

Board Members of note (in 2018): Donald-William-Sue Budinger, Tony Allen, Raye Jones Avery, Fred Sears II

Advisory Council members of note (in 2018): U.S. Senator Tom Carper, U.S. Senator Chris Coons, Tim Brewer, Robert Buccini, Cerron Cade, Meredith Griffin, Maria Matos, Laurissa Schutt, Darryl Scott, Dana Diesel Wallace

  • Total Revenue: $1,582,440
  • Contributions and grants received: $109,817
  • Investment Income: $1,210,789
  • Other revenue: $207,834
  • Grants paid: $811,482
  • Salaries, other compensation, employee benefits: $1,860,795
  • Other expenses: $898.574
  • Revenue less expenses (for 2015): -$2,042,411

Savings and temporary cash investments-

  • Beginning of year: $1,730,743
  • End of year: $1,585,328

Investments- publicly traded securities-

  • Beginning of year: $16,373,671
  • End of year: $12,802,568

Investments- other securities-

  • Beginning of year: $4,113,376
  • End of year: $3,970,973 ($2,845,377- Hirtle Absolute & Total Return Off Shore Fund, $1,125,596- Hirtle- Private Equity Funds)

Total expenditures and investments in Central America and the Caribbean: $4,314,749

Net assets or fund balances end of year: $18,914,775

Total lobbying expenditures to influence a legislative body (direct lobbying): $1,048

Total Assets: $18,914,775

“Our service accomplishments are we supported the public-private coalition that is implementing our statewide plan called Student Success 2025, we helped Delaware become a national leader in providing career pathways in emerging industries that connect students to jobs, we built the skills of teachers to use innovative 21st Century practices in their classrooms.”

Grants given-

  • Delaware Business Roundtable: $6,500
  • Delaware Charter Schools Network: $15,900
  • Schools That Lead: $50,000
  • Innovative Schools Development Corporation: $418,624
  • Teach For America Inc.: $150,000
  • The Partnership Inc.: $10,000
  • Metropolitan Urban League: $25,000
  • National Council on Teacher Quality: $5,000
  • St. Andrew’s School: $20,000
  • Hope Street Group: $5,000

Now something to keep in mind is what was going on in 2015. This was the year of House Bill 50, the parent opt out bill. Herdman came to Legislative Hall (something he said he doesn’t do) to speak out against the bill. Along with some of the organizations Rodel just happened to donate money to that year, an ad went in The News Journal voicing their opposition to HB50.

Which got me digging around into other organizations and non-profits that promote Delaware education, all from the same tax year: 2015.


Delaware Charter Schools Network:

  • Kendall Massett salary: $70,000
  • Lobbying Expenses to influence a legislative body: $26,000
  • Lobbying Expenses to influence public opinion (grassroots): $5,000

Savings and temporary cash investments-

  • Beginning of year: $335,955
  • End of year: $151,332
  • Net assets or fund balances end of year: $221,287
  • Gifts, grants, contributions, and membership fees received: $171,356
  • Membership fees: $97,143


Delaware Business Roundtable Education Committee:

  • Books and records held by: The Rodel Foundation of Delaware
  • Lobbying Expenses to influence a legislative body: $27,500
  • Lobbying Expenses to influence public opinion (grassroots): $11,990
  • Grants given:
  • Delaware Early Childhood Center Co., Delaware Office of Early Learning, Delaware Department of Education: $20,000
  • Schools That Lead: $40,000
  • Jobs For The Future Inc.: $25,000

“The Rodel Foundation is in a pro-bono service contract with the Delaware Business Roundtable Education Committee, providing administrative services to the organization. Such services are primarily composed of accounting, accounts receivables, and accounts payable management, issuance (for signature) of checks to approved vendors, quarterly meeting management, proposal review and project oversight, and financial and narrative reporting these in-kind services have been valued at $12,000 for 2015.”

  • Signed by Ernest Dianastasis 11/4/2016

Board members of note: Mark Stellini (also on NCC Vo-Tech’s Board), Gary Stockbridge, Ernest Dianastasis, Rodman Ward III,

From their website: The mission of the DBREC is to improve public education in Delaware by aggregating and aligning investments of Roundtable members.

Schools That Lead:

  • Dana Diesel Wallace (Executive Director) Salary: $173,348
  • President of Board: Paul Herdman
  • funded by NEA, NEA Foundation, DSEA, Delaware Community Foundation, and Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Learning


Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League

  • Board Members of note: Paul Herdman, Cerron Cade


United Way of Delaware:

  • Michelle Taylor (President and CEO) Salary: $296,542
  • Board Members of note: Gary Stockbridge, Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald (Caesar Rodney Superintendent), Gerald Brady, Mark Brainard

Grants given of note-

  • Charter School of Wilmington: $6,286
  • Colonial Education Foundation Inc.: $8,000
  • Delaware Military Academy: $9,443
  • Foundation for Appoquinimink Schools: $11,535
  • Latin American Community Center: $249,695
  • Newark Charter School: $18,085
  • Teach For America Delaware: $15,000


Innovative Schools Development Corporation

  • Matthew Swanson (Executive Chair) Salary: $207,745
  • Board Members of note: Paul Herdman, Martha Manning

Grants received-

  • Rodel Foundation: $400,000
  • Welfare Foundation: $169,133


Welfare Foundation Inc.:

  • Peter Morrow (President) Salary: $271,058
  • Christopher Grundner (Asst. Secretary/Treasurer) Salary: $199,278
  • Total Assets end of year: $114,791,604

Grants Given-

  • First State Montessori Academy Inc.: $50,000
  • Gateway Charter School: $25,000
  • Great Oaks Foundation Inc.: $50,000
  • Delaware STEM Academy: $75,000 (they returned the entire grant
  • ASPIRA of Delaware Charter Operations: $100,000
  • Montessori Works Inc. (Public Montessori School in Sussex County): $75,000
  • MOT Charter School Inc.: $200,000
  • Teach For America, Inc.: $50,000
  • Teensharp a NJ Nonprofit Corporation: $20,000
  • Vision to Learn: $40,000
  • Summer Learning Collaborative: $25,000


The Longwood Foundation:

Grants Given-

  • Teach For America, Inc.: $250,000
  • Wilmington Montessori School: $300,000
  • Delaware STEM Academy: $250,000 (they returned $247,999 of the grant
  • Delaware Military Academy: $750,000
  • Summer Learning Collaborative: $750,000
  • Cab Calloway School Fund: $140,448
  • McKinsey Social Initiative Inc.: $750,000
  • United Way of Delaware: $750,000
  • Community Education Building: $2,000,000
  • Great Oaks Foundation: $500,000
  • East Side Community Learning Center: $250,000
  • Teensharp: $150,000


Delaware Community Foundation:

Grants Given-

  • Delaware Business Roundtable Education Committee: $11,500
  • Delaware Charter Schools Network: $15,900
  • Indian River School District: $56,000
  • Innovative Schools Development Corporation: $418,624
  • Kuumba Academy Charter School: $30,000
  • Las Americas ASPIRA Academy: $6,591
  • Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League: $107,000
  • National Public Education Support Fund (purpose of grant: Vision Coalition of Delaware)
  • Schools That Lead: $50,000
  • Sussex Academy Foundation: $110,000
  • Sussex Academy of Arts & Sciences: $9,250
  • Teach For America Inc.: $179,633
  • The Summer Learning Collaborative: $60,000

Money.  Changing hands and foundations and non-profits.  Here is my thing with Herdman and Rodel.  They get tons of money.  But they use teachers on their “teacher councils”.  They pay them some small stipends to do all this work to promote their agendas.  And then guys like Herdman walk off into the 1% sunset with their nearly $400,000 salary.  Off the backs of others.  I don’t disparage the teachers that get involved with this kind of stuff.  They are brainwashed into thinking all this competency-based personalized learning in an ed tech world is a great thing.  It’s not.  They are half-baked ideas designed for a ton of companies to make big profits.  It is also developing data systems and algorithms to put kids on those nifty career paths Herdman is always jabbering about.  Maybe they see something I don’t.  But what I see is guys like Paul using them and sending money out that is safely hidden away in the Caribbean to other charter schools and other corporate education reform profit centers.

I know, it’s the way of the world.  A non-profit company is not designed to make a profit.  They are there to dole out money and lobby for something.  They don’t need to make a profit as long as their upper echelon sits on paychecks most of us will never earn.  That’s why guys like Herdman and so many others… they don’t impress me much.  Having money gets you a seat at the table.  It gets your voice heard.  It lets you cement an idea into a policy into a law.  But in the end, it really doesn’t do much for the betterment of students and teachers.  None of it has changed the bar so to speak.  It’s brought a whole lot of crap and snake oil into classrooms and is draining money away from smaller class sizes and the TRUE resources our kids need.


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