Let them know you care

“I am the proud parent of three children who are in or are going to be in the Upper Darby School District.”

With those words, Edward C. Stedman Jr. took the podium in front of the State Capitol in June 2012. His opening statement summed up the reason for all of his advocacy and community volunteer efforts – his young family with wife, Amber, including children Eddie, Aidan and Eliza, and the Upper Darby School District community.

Upper Darby Parent Coalition is saddened to share that Ted, who was also known as Ed, a force for change and Upper Darby High School graduate, passed away unexpectedly on June 27, 2013.

In the month leading up to the rally, which was organized by Save Upper Darby Arts, Ted had been working behind the scenes with other District parents to develop strategy for approaching the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) about the lack of funding for Special Education.
After delivering the speech, below, videotaped by SUDA, Ted made an unannounced visit to the PDE. His tireless efforts in working to draw attention to this important issue helped Upper Darby Parent Coalition, established in June 2012, recognize the impact this particular funding issue was having on all students.

As Ted said, “Federal and State mandates that the government ignores or forgets to fund, year after year, have created a strain that is dragging the public school system down. When the Federal government mandates Special Education funding and does not adequately fund its own mandates, the problem gets passed onto the State. The State may also not fund the public system adequately, leaving the funding to local resources.

A visionary, Ted observed more than a year ago, that, “Our local resources are tapped out, leaving us to cut programs to balance a budget. We are now taking from all students – general education and Special Education – to balance the budget to fund mandates required by the Federal government and the State of Pennsylvania.”

UDPC is grateful to the Stedman family for sharing the following ways in which our community can support the family of the man who advocated so well for all of our children.

Visit Meal Train online and sign up to bring them a meal :

Donate to the children’s fund:
Stedman Children’s Memorial Fund
PO Box 80
Drexel Hill, PA 19026

One Response to Tribute

  1. Freddy Panes says:

    Politicians always play around with their “powers” and one of their powers is funding areas that are “in need” from that particular point of view. Take for instance crime: the more news about how scary crime is and criminals running around the more funding we expect. Who gets scared of drop outs and failing grades. It is all a matter of what is conceived as “immediate” as of the moment. Perhaps failing grades, dropouts, and truancy are not immediate for politicians and others; but for us parents they are. It is a perfect recipe for a bleak future not for us but our children and our nation. Do politicians really care? I dont think they do. They’ll say anything to stay in their positions of work and forward their agenda. We parents have to deal with these hard realities. An FB poster says: Politicians are like diapers: they need to be changed frequently.

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