On the Bristol-Warren school budget issue, it is my understanding that Warren Town Manager, Tom Gordon, had requested a full copy of the school budget, and was denied. Is this possible? Denied? A written request was submitted per the open documents rule and has yet to be received to the best of my knowledge.
We stand by the Warren Town Council in their position that they cannot afford to raise their portion of the school budget. They are holding firm to protect their residents from layoffs or tax hikes. They know what is best for their town and I commend them for having the fortitude to remain steadfast in their decision.
Money is not always the answer. A recent study published by GoLocalProv shows that Rhode Island spends more per student than most other states, ranking in the top ten nationally, but is 32nd in the country for student achievement.
If there’s any conclusion that can be drawn by comparing all 50 states, it’s that educational excellence cannot be measured by how much a state spends. “It has more to do with how they spend it than what they’re spending,” said Jennifer Cohen, a senior policy analyst for the Federal Education Budget Project, which is maintained by the New America Foundation.
Back to my original issue, I think there should be a public outcry from the Warren residents about the failure to produce a copy of the full school budget when it was requested. This reminds me of the BCWA three years ago! Our elected and appointed officials have lost sight of the fact that they serve at the pleasure of the residents. Their job is to provide a government that functions smoothly and reflects the utmost respect for its citizens.
My hope is that all residents, both Bristol and Warren, take issues like this into consideration at the next election. Whatever your party affiliation is, please do NOT vote a simple party line. Get to know your candidates. Ask them the questions that YOU want answered. Vote for a real person, not a party.