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LETTERS
What will be cut?

To the Editor:

Concerning the probable School Department’s budget deficit, I urge anyone interested in the ALAP, arts and music, sports, libraries and other programs vital to our students’ education, to turn out Thursday night at 6 p.m. to the Special School Committee meeting at the Warwick administration building, 34 Warwick Lake Avenue. Please dress cool, as it’s looking to be hot on June 27.

Eugene A. Nadeau

School Committeeman

Warwick


Comments
3 comments on this item

Thank you Gene. I don't know why a similar posting wasn't made for use during the city council meetings. Now that the council has once again under-funded the schools while having a $30 Million increase in annual revenues over the last 5 years, the school are forced to make cuts. If the city had cut their bloated budget and sent an appropriate amount to the schools, the programs would not need to be cut.

I have heard already that the ALAP program teachers have already been given an involuntary transfer to the regular classroom, this means ALAP has already been cut and they are just waiting on the School Committee to vote on it. Cutting the ALAP teachers saves about $80K- $100K. The students will lose so much more.

I guarantee that you will lose so much more if you cut this program. Parents will pull their students from Warwick Schools and the State Funding will leave with them, thanks to the unbalanced State Funding Formula.

When the parents pull their kids from Warwick Schools, the Warwick school scores will drop and the State will come in and take over the schools. At that point, it will be Central Falls right here in Warwick and you can thank the Mayor and City Council for putting us in this position. The State will throw all the contracts out too.

It is not too late to go to the unions and work out a deal to save these valuable programs. Ask Karen Bachus to talk with Jim Ginolfi, it is my understanding she visits him frequently and give him all the info the unions need. Have her ask him to talk with the School Committee to save programs as he said he would talk about helping save Gorton.

As a last resort, Here is a plan. If you are an ALAP parent or a parent of a music student, keep your students home from school during the mornings of NECAP. Bring them in AFTER NECAP testing for their classes. The School NECAP Scores will plummet and the entire school system will have to be reviewed. What do kids learn during NECAP testing... nothing!

Gene,

Once again the schools are faced with implementing new programs such as Common Core and mandates from the state such as all the new assessments that students must endure to ensure that they are making progress with little or no financial support from the city or the state. I believe that the mayor as well as members of the city council should be present or at least a part of the team that looks at what and where the school department can cut. I am disappointed that it appears to be business as usual in that it does not appear that we will be stream lining offices, or looking for creative solutions such as the possible merging of services with the city but rather continuing with the historical bludgeoning of programs and services that directly impact students.

Since the Mayor stated on several occasions that he was assured by the current Superintendent as well as the Chairwoman of the School Committee that the school’s budget would be level funded, I am dumbfounded as to how they could not have foreseen the necessary increases for the upcoming school year or been so misinformed. I would love to hear their explanations for the unforeseen expenditures especially if they were counting on the closure of a junior high which would have only saved less than 1/3 of the actual increase. If these people worked in the private sector they would be looking for new jobs or asked to resign.

It is time that the people who work for the taxpayers stop pointing fingers and start acting responsible by working together on a reasonable plan to solve the budgetary problems that we can all afford while providing services that draw new taxpayers into our city.

PS – If you continue to do what you have always done, you will continue to get the same results. It is time to try something new.

DGorton, the Mayor and the City Council want nothing to do with the schools. If they insert themselves into the situation, they will be blamed for any failings. As it is now, the Mayor and City council can point at the schools whenever they want to distract the citizens of Warwick. Look at your tax bill. Several years ago almost 75% of your taxes went to Schools, now only 5 years later, the schools receive 55% of the city taxes. The school budget has gone up 500K in 5 years and the city budget has gone up $30 Million annually during the same time. Over the last 5 years nearly EVERY increase in your taxes has gone to the city and who was blamed? The schools were blamed. I want the Mayor and city council as far away from the schools as possible. That is why the school committee is non-partisan. Maybe enough fingers have not been pointed at the city, only time will tell. Please attend the school committee meeting as Gene suggests and you will get a chance to watch the school committee make cuts, something the city needs to learn. You will not find the Mayor or the city council anywhere near the meeting. They promised to "help" save Gorton, they did not save anything.

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