LETTERS

A plan for Warwick Schools

Posted

To the Editor:

After reading about Mr. Thornton’s campaign for a bond issue to improve Warwick Schools, I felt the need to respond. While I agree that the buildings need improvement, I have solutions to improve our schools beyond the brick and mortar about which Mr. Thornton is so concerned.

First, find a new and effective superintendent.

Second, elect a school committee that cares about the education and welfare of the students and the fair treatment of the faculty. Currently, it seems there is just one member who consistently fulfills this criteria.

Finally, the Warwick School Department has always been top heavy in administrators beyond principals and vice principals. The number of administrators (and the staff that they require) needs to be reduced. Instead the school committee seems more concerned with reducing the number of faculty who actually care about the students.

While I agree that many buildings are in need of repair, fixing the buildings is not as important as creating a good teaching environment. The needs of the students and the teachers should be top priority.

Roberta Bianco

Warwick

Comments

15 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment
Justanidiot

The number of everything has to decrease. Build one big warehouse, have one principal. One teacher per grade up until sixth and then have one teacher per subject per grade up through senior. Everything else is just fluff that can be eliminated. Let's make Warwick a model that all other school districts across the state and nation can point at.

Thursday, August 24
Thecaptain

Just a hunch that the writer is a Warwick teacher and the un-named member she is referencing is Karen Bachus. Just a hunch.

Thursday, August 24
richardcorrente

Dear Roberta,

Couldn't agree with you more. Karen Bachus is the sole member of the School Committee (SC) that, in my opinion, has value. The rest are more concerned with increasing their staff (30% in the last year) while at the same time reducing the number of teachers (30% in the last year).

I am painfully aware that when money goes to the SC it does NOT go to our schools, or our teachers, or our students. It goes to the SC!! They have mismanaged over A BILLION DOLLARS OF TAXPAYERS MONEY since 2009, and now they want $85,000,000 more?!??

Are you kidding me? FIRST...settle the teachers contract.

THEN, and ONLY THEN, do something that repairs our schools WITHOUT the SC controlling the money.

Happy Summer Roberta.

Happy Summer everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Friday, August 25
WarwickFreemason

My wife and I just sold our house in Warwick in June and moved to Smithfield. I am so happy to be out of Warwick.

Friday, August 25
JohnStark

Amidst the dizzying array of numbers that are bandied about, there are really only two that matter:

1. $18,000. That is the per-pupil expenditure of the Warwick public schools. While it is difficult to make comparisons with other cities and towns due to contrasting demographics, Cranston spends about $15,000 per student.

2. Fewer than 1 in 4. That's the number of Warwick public high school students who demonstrate proficiency in Math and Reading.

Perhaps Ms. Bianco, Dr.Thornton, and the entire Educrat Cabal could enlighten us on just how this proposed bond would result in more competent and functionally literate students. Going forward, any and every Beacon article related to local public education should address this point, especially those that address expenditures.

Friday, August 25
richardcorrente

Dear John Stark,

You are so right.

In fact, if you divide the annual budget by the number of students, the exact numbers are:

Warwick cost-per-student.......$17,990 and

Cranston cost-per-student ......$14,639.

Therefore Warwick spends exactly $3,351 dollars MORE per student. Seems to me that we should have much better results, especially since Warwick is spending FIFTEEN MILLION DOLLARS MORE than Cranston is!!

Here's the problem.

We don't give our tax money to the Warwick schools as in education, teachers, building maintenance, student needs (Chromebooks etc.) and categories that improve the quality of our education. We give it to an organization called "The School Committee". They are "supposed" to accomplish all those "quality-of-education" issues. How do you think they are doing John? On a scale of one to a hundred I give them a one...and that's because I rounded it up!

John, we should not do ANYTHING ELSE until the teachers contract is completed.

Happy Summer John.

Happy Summer everyone

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Friday, August 25
davet1107

Mr. Corrente,

We've been down this road before with the Cranston comparisons but let me remind you again. Warwick pays FICA for it's teachers, Cranston does not. That's worth about $5-6 million. In addition, our teachers earn more than Cranston's. Also I believe we have a larger geography to cover so we run more buses than does Cranston and buses aren't cheap. In those three areas is where the vast majority of that difference lies. Look at Cranston's budget trajectory over the past ten years and you'll see that they're quickly closing that gap. We agree that our results are simply not commensurate with what we spend. There is no reason at all that Warwick should consistently land in the bottom third of achievement. That said, to not invest in our school building infrastructure will say more about our community that anything else. Our students and teachers deserve modernized facilities and increased classroom technology. Oh, and I need to correct your insinuations that bond funds will somehow be spent on everything else but capital projects. In a word, they can't so please stop spreading a patently false accusation that somehow that's been done in the past. Lastly, the School budget is audited annually by a thiird party auditing firm chosen by the city and that audit is a public document. .

David Testa

Friday, August 25
richardcorrente

Dear David Testa, (AKADave1107),

I sincerely do not want to spread any "patently false accusations", so let's look at what we can't disagree on:

1. The School Committee (SC) has received $160,000,000 a year for about 8 years in a row, right?

2. That's over ONE BILLION dollars of taxpayers money since 2009, right?

3. The SC has TOTAL control over how it is spent, right?

4. The SC, by their bylaws, is supposed to take care of these repairs and renovations, right?

5. The SC "needs" $84,000,000 MORE; that A BILLION Dollars is not enough, according to the SC, right?

6. And Cranston's school budget is a whopping $15,000,000 LESS than Warwick (in 2016), right?

7. And Warwick teachers STILL DO NOT HAVE A CONTRACT, right?

GREAT! Now that we are on the same page, Dave, DO YOUR JOB! Negotiate 24 hours a day, if that is what it takes and get the teachers a new contract! Don't ask the taxpayers to give the SC more. Tell the SC to give the TAXPAYERS "more".

Thanks Dave. And thanks for admitting the the School Committee's "results are not commensurate with what we spend".

Couldn't agree with you more on that one Dave!

Happy Summer Dave Testa.

Happy Summer everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Sunday, August 27
davet1107

Mr. Corrente, with all due respect, your ignorance of what comprises the school's budget, where and how its monies can be spent, continues unabated. Unfortunately, it's impossible to have a substantive discussion about our schools with you. I wish you well.

Sunday, August 27
Thecaptain

Yet another example of the incompetence, ignorance, fecklessness of Mr. Corrente, the tax delinquent , tax cheat, child support cheat, uneducated, blowhard suck up. This man simply has no concept of any subject matter whatsoever. The Warwick teachers pay is in the top 3% in the country. Their benefit package is in the top 2% in the country. Yet they demand more and more every year when our students grades are in the lowest percentile in the country. These teachers were offered the same as the other unions - 9% over 3 years and they refused. They deserve nothing . NOT 1 PENNY INCREASE!. They should be embarrassed at the product that they turn out. Just another example of mediocrity demanding more. Mr. Corrente is the poster boy of ignorance.

Sunday, August 27
WarwickFreemason

What the city and the entire state needs is MORE Charter Schools with NO UNIONS. Maybe at one time unions were needed, but now, no... Unions need to go... ALL OF THEM!!!

Monday, August 28
richardcorrente

Dear Dave1107, (AKA Dave Testa, newest member of the School Committee),

Of the 7 points I made in my comment, which one or ones do you not understand?

I thought I was pretty clear. I can't imagine that you are "unable to have a substantive discussion about our schools" with me.

My statements were 100% factual. Please re-read them.

Why don't you consider the points I made. Agree with them. Disagree with them (although I don't know how you can) and get back to me. Then you can enlighten me as to "what compromises the school budget" and "where and how its' monies can be spent". Maybe I misread the School Committee charter, Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, and Mission Statement... Maybe.

Happy September Dave.

Happy September everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Monday, August 28
DannyHall82

Richard,

Over 90% of that School budget is set towards Pay and benefits, I've been in a State Union for 13 years and I've gone five plus years with no pay raise while negotiations have gone on. We didn't leak info to the press every week, we compromised in good faith. The problem is that prior administrations didn't want to deal with the Union or cause a PR nightmare, so while other communities were adjusting to changes ......Warwick didn't. Both sides are at Fault for mistakes but David Testa is the most knowledgeable and independent person on that committee. Mr. Testa has more time vested in the Warwick Schools than every elected official combined. He doesn't fudge numbers, leak info to the press or use the students as pawns. This whole situation is about jobs and about the kids...Paying someone more money doesn't make them a good teacher or suddenly makes them want to be a better teacher.

Tuesday, August 29
richardcorrente

Dear DannyHall82,

Always good to hear from you.

And you are absolutely right. Paying a teacher (or anyone) more money doesn't make them "better". That is why I am careful to stay OUT of the debate about the amount the teachers should be paid. My whole complaint is that they don't have a signed contract. Not a higher-pay one; not a lower-pay one. Just a SIGNED one. If you or I were involved we would spend every waking hour on it. I see that same commitment from the teachers but NOT the School Committee.

I respectfully disagree with your statement "both sides are at fault". On this issue, it's all the School Committee!

Take good care Danny. Hi to your wife.

Happy September everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Tuesday, August 29
Thecaptain

Dear Mayor DUMBNESS,

The inadequate teachers don't have a signed contract because they keep walking away from the table demanding more. 3% retroactive pay plus another 3 % for the next 3 years is a show stopper. They do not deserve another pay raise based upon the product that they turn out. You are such a complete imbecile that it is embarrassing to have you publicly announce that you are a Warwick resident. How sad ?

DOPENESS, you understand nothing about business.

Tuesday, August 29