A Matter Of Opinion

TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2008, 3:49 P.M.

No school librarians

What if your school district announced that all librarians would be gone in three years and would be replaced by "resource specialists"? That's what is happening in Mesa, Ariz. Here's an article about that. A total of 87 positions will be eliminated. Replacing them will be support staff that wouldn't be required to have teaching certificates.

Similarly, school nurses are being replaced with less-credentialed health assistants.

As we found out when The Three Moms from Spokane went to Olympia to wrest more money for school libraries, this is a national problem. It seems that districts facing budget challenges tend to target librarians.

Here is an item from the American Library Association on the cuts. Note the link in that article to the correlation between library research skills and student achievement.

Lisa Layera Brunkan, one of the Spokane Moms, brought this to my attention. Here's their blog, which has more information on the issue.

Meanwhile, the Legislature's joint task force on basic education funding continues to meet. That group is charged with producing a report on reforming the basic education funding formula. Deadline is December. Here's a link to progress reports.

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