Value of mentoring going unheeded


To the Editor:

Donna Travis is correct. It is time for those of us who knew and loved the Warwick School Department to stand up and speak out.

I remember Steve Merolla's father, Amedeo Merolla. He served on the School Committee from 1975 to 1982. During that time, Domenic DiLuglio was the superintendent. He was able to run the system with one assistant and three directors (a total of four on central administration) with four secretaries. At that time we had about twice the number of students that we have now.

Philip Thornton says that he needs a much larger central administrative staff. He says he needs one assistant superintendent, five directors and three coordinators (a total of 10) with a total of 10 secretaries.

To compare the two (using today's dollar values):

Don DiLugio needed to budget:

4 x $100,000 = $400,000

4 x $40,000 = $160,000

Total $560,000

Philip Thornton says he needs to budget

10 x $100,000 = $1,000,000

10 x $40,000 = $140,000

Total $1,140,000

Superintendent Thornton has budgeted more than a million dollars for himself and his fellow administrators.

Then he has the audacity to say that he cannot afford the Mentor program at a cost of $108,000.

As a former school psychologist, I can personally testify to the value of our mentors. I have seen many children who needed and benefited from their energy, wisdom and dedication.

Shame on you for being so unaware of the value of the mentor program.

Martha Cruciani

Retired Warwick School Psychologist


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Dear readers,

I am not a Psychologist. I appreciate the findings of Martha Cruciani but my approach is from the point of view of a mortgage banker. From a dollars-and-cents point of view, Dr. Phillip Thornton wants over twice as much money and over twice as many administrators to handle less than half as many students. AND Dr. Thornton wants OVER A MILLION DOLLARS FOR HIMSELF AND HIS CREW! That is mathematically AND morally wrong and I continue to oppose it. Thank you Martha, for pointing that out.

Happy September everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The third-party audit that was recently conducted does show that it isn't the administration cost that is driving the budget up..


"Teacher salaries, not administrators, driving higher spending in district. While a lot has been said over the years about how the district’s administration has irresponsibly handled its budget, the audit revealed that Warwick is quite comparable to like districts in many ways, except for one key area – spending per pupil."

"In terms of administrative pay, while the superintendent position in Warwick is paid $35,000 higher than the average superintendent in like districts, principals are paid $809 less than the average."

"Interestingly, despite the oft-repeated criticism from school department detractors that believe too much money is wasted on administrators’ salaries and that there are an excessive number of administrators, the audit data revealed that Warwick actually has about one fewer administrator than the average for Ring districts."

This audit was done in 2018. No disrespect but all programs are important. No one wants to lose any of them. The reality is that we have come to a time where the rubber meets the road. Hard choices have to be made. The blame is not on the school administrative department exclusively. The previous Mayor as well as the city council all have to shoulder some blame as well. Compromise is a word that seems to be nonexistent in the City of Warwick when it comes to schools. Pointing fingers and placing blame is an indulgence and gets us no where.

Monday, September 10, 2018