Investing in schools is an investment in our community
To the Editor:
A few weeks ago, I wrote a letter to the mayor in response to his appearance on “The Rhode Show.” My initial letter to Mayor Avedisian was to express surprise that he felt that Dr. Thornton had no culpability in the current situation within the Warwick School System. By blaming past administrations, he appeared to be forgetting that when given 3 million dollars for capital improvement, Thornton chose to fix auditorium seating, gymnasium floors, slapping paint in the foyer and fixing a football field. At the same time, fire alarm systems were failing in the city. And while the extent of the fire alarm breakdown may not have been known last summer, it is disingenuous to state that the current situation is solely the responsibility of previous administrators. The current administration has also neglected safety issues in exchange for quick, superficial fixes.
The state of Warwick schools is a reflection of each and every elected official in Warwick, not just the current school administration or previous administrations. Level funding schools and neglecting capital repairs is detrimental to our community. And while I share frustrations as to how money has been spent in the past (and currently), I would like to remind the mayor and city council members that the voters of Warwick elected the school committee members as well as each of them. Not agreeing with the choices of the school committee does not abdicate the city’s responsibility to repair and improve our schools.
The solution for School Committee’s poor choices, perceived or otherwise, is an educated electorate and the next election. However, this continuation of not funding schools because of past choices or disagreements with the current administration only hurts the students of Warwick. Please remember that families move to a city for school systems, not for hotels, airports or interlink train stations. Investing in our schools is an investment in our city.
I would like to see better choices made in school spending but most of all, I want to send my children to school in a safe, secure, inviting environment. We don’t have that now but we can. Our elected officials need to work together and stop citing the charter and separation of duties. If they can do that, we all benefit.