Sunday, February 7, 2010

President Obama Needs To Correct This Mistake

Here's an excerpt of an article from The School Library Journal:

President Obama Proposes Eliminating Federal School Library Funds

By Debra Lau Whelan -- School Library Journal, 2/1/2010

President Obama has delivered a slap in the face to school librarians. In his FY2011 budget proposal to Congress on Monday, he completely eliminated the Improving Literacy for School Libraries grant program, designed to boost academic achievement by providing students with access to up-to-date school library materials.

President Obama unveils the fiscal year 2011 budget, which wipes out federal funding specifically earmarked for school libraries.
“I’m shocked,” says Cassandra Barnett, president of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and a media specialist at Fayetteville High School in Arkansas. “On one level, I’m angry, and on another level, I’m highly disappointed. This is a real morale killer.”

Although Obama’s proposal includes a $400 billion investment in education, there’s no mention of federal funds specifically geared toward school libraries—and that means schools with at least 20 percent of students coming from families who live below the poverty line will no longer have access to those badly needed monies for everything from library books and extended hours to technology and professional development.

“[Obama] is proposing to take away the last access to literacy for these kids in high-poverty areas,” says Barnett, whose own school qualifies for the grant program. If Congress approves the proposal, Barnett’s says her library budget will suffer and her district won’t rehire a library supervisor as planned.

I will write some thoughts on this tomorrow... the library I'm in is closing and the computers shut down in less than 10 minutes...

Monday, February 8:
I am trying to get information on what this means to school libraries in Rhode Island, but have nothing new to add. I am sure that other cuts could be made before this one.

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