As the legislature comes to a close, one little-known bill that is making its way through the House and the Senate practically unnoticed is House Bill 278. Section Three of the bill allows local school boards to rob school libraries of their budgets for two years through July of 2010. Ironically, the bill passed through the Senate Education and Youth Committee.
I fail to understand how you advocate for education or youth by cutting library funds. Some rather well-known studies have proven that school libraries managed by library professionals are correlated to student achievement. Libraries support curriculum, encourage literacy, support the efforts of classroom teachers (especially new teachers!) and encourage the use of technology in classrooms.
Not providing the means to do those things for two years will be a real setback. I can only hope our local school board will understand the value of school libraries and decide not to steal funds from media budgets to make up for their own budget woes.