For Immediate Release: Parents and Students Protest DCPS Cuts to Libraries

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sunday, May 20, 2012

 

Contact:  Peter MacPherson, pmacpher@aol.com, 202-315-8155

 

Parents and Students Protest DCPS Cuts to Libraries

 

Washington, DC- On Monday, May 21, 2012, parents and students from across Washington, DC will be protesting school librarian cuts by the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) in the FY13 budget.  The event will take place in front of DCPS headquarters at 1200 First Street, N.E. between 1pm and 6pm.

In the FY13 DCPS budget, important changes were made that dramatically impact school libraries:

 

  • No funding was provided for the school librarian position for schools with 299 or fewer students.
  • Funding was provided for the school librarian position for schools with an enrollment of 300 or more students, BUT:
    • The school librarian position was moved from “core” staff to “flexible” staff.
      • This allows principals to choose whether or not to have a school librarian.  Principals can now use the school librarian allocation for other positions.

As a result of the new Budget Guidelines for 2013, 34 additional schools did not fund school librarians for 2013 bringing the total number of schools without a school librarian to 57.  In 2013, almost 50% of the DC public schools will be without librarians.  Over 16,000 students will be without a school library, if these cuts go through.

 

Research has shown school libraries positively impact teacher effectiveness, increase the likelihood that students will become literate and independent learners, and support at-risk students.  Yet DCPS is choosing to ignore this research, and make deep cuts to its school libraries.

 

The Breakdown

57 schools with no school librarian budgeted for 2013 by Ward.

Ward 1 Ward 2 Ward 3 Ward 4 Ward 5 Ward 6 Ward 7 Ward 8

4

4

0

8

10

10

12

9

57 schools with no school librarians budgeted for 2013 by grade level.
Elementary (63) Education Campus(20) Middle (13) High (18) Alternative (10)
      24             9      7   7       10
Chancellor Henderson is being asked to: 

  • provide a ½ time librarian at schools with 299 or fewer students;
  • move the librarian position to the core staff category; and
  • provide a per student allocation for the libraries dedicated to support collection development and other necessary materials.

 

 

Cutting Libraries During a Recession is Like Cutting Hospitals During a Plague.  Eleanor Crumblehulme

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