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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

School Librarians being cut

School Librarians being cut

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Our district has agreed to eliminate all the school librarians but one. That is 17 positions being cut. Its very disheartening and feels like a death in the family. Eight of us will be without jobs next year and wondering how we will make it after 21 years in the district. I was wondering if there are any other school districts that are contemplating cutting school librarians? I was very active before and now I feel like there is no hope. Any suggestions for dealing with this and for maybe trying to find a solution?

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Geraldine Fegan's picture

Kris,
I am so sorry to hear about your district. Unfortunately, this is occurring all over my state. As president of my state school library association, I hear more stories not only of cuts, but that parent vounteers are replacing these teachers during the following year. Now, this is a violation of the teachers' contracts, I thought. Not so. In Massachusetts, if the volunteer is being supervised by a "member of the bargaining unit," and is not performing teaching duties (just circulation and management), there is not violation. What does that mean? Well, it's cheap, inefficient labor and unless parents complain, school librarians will not be replaced. It also means that the school custodian can be the supervisor of these parent volunteers.
Parents are a golden asset to any school, but this is the time for parents NOT to volunteer, but to advocate.
I wish I had a solution, but the best advice I can offer is to make VERY LOUD NOISES in the community about what the children are not getting with their parents' tax money. Point out that they pay for all your services and skills and that they deserve them. Get local college leaders to speak at rallies about the consequences of such a cut on students' skill sets needed for colleges and how school libraries provide that. More pocket money down the drain! Seriously - don't whine, shout. Now. Tomorrow.

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