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. 

Stephanie Shelton



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Dear Stephanie,

You speak for all Warwick parents.

The problem is that Mayor Avedisian feels that the current superintendent, Dr. Thornton, doesn't have any culpability because the Mayor doesn't require any! He was hired by the School Committee who eliminated qualified candidates that the Mayor disapproved of in favor of Dr. Phil and one other candidate. I attended the public interviews and I felt he was fairly qualified and when he discovered the massive theft from David LaPlante and acted decisively and immediately, I said "This guy is just what we need". Since then however, Thornton seems to be "going along to get along". I can't help but feel that they got to him. He is still the spokesperson but I believe he is not the decision maker.

The problem with the School Committee is "control". Since 2009 they have received OVER A BILLION DOLLARS of taxpayers money and every year they spend it any damn way they want because the City Charter says they can. It says that they have total control "as soon as they receive their budget". I think we can agree, they haven't spent it wisely. That's why I have stated many times that as Mayor I will require accountability "BEFORE they receive a dime" of the taxpayers hard-earned money. I won't let the number of School Committee staffers increase by the same percentage that the number of teachers decrease. That's what's happening today, and you can hold me accountable for that.

Stephanie, 2018 is right around the corner. Please give me your support. My cell is 401-338-9900 if you or any other reader wants to ask me questions, make suggestions, or offer constructive criticism.

Thank you Stephanie.

Happy Summer everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

we invest enough in the schools already just like raimondo giving free college for 2 yrs because the jobs

shes going to create will requir e a associates degree so if you have already graduated you dont mean anything

she doesnt care what kind of job you get i think parents should be paying for there kids to go to school you

see them every morning standing with there kids to get the bus why not just drive them to school save the tax payers some money they should be charged for these services

Thursday, May 4, 2017