Monday, February 1, 2010
President Obama Proposes Eliminating Federal School Library Funds
Link to February 1 School Library Journal report.
Excerpt: 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.” $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.
For its part, AASL plans a massive grassroots effort to contact lawmakers on the Hill, as well as getting the message out to its members via the AASL Forum online discussion group. (Emphasis added.)