D.C. School Librarians Face An Uncertain Future By: Jessica Gould

Public Radio had an article this morning about school libraries in Washington, DC. They write: Earlier this spring, the D.C. public school system distributed funding guidelines for the new fiscal year, and DCPS Chief of Staff Lisa Ruda says rising costs led to some tough decisions. "At the end of the day, we had to balance our budget, and the library allocation at our smallest schools was one of the hard choices we had to make," she says. For fiscal year 2013, schools such as Hearst -- with projected enrollments of fewer than 300 students -- will no longer receive a specific funding allocation for a librarian. This is a change from the previous years. For fiscal year 2012, schools with fewer than 250 students received an allocation for a part-time librarian. Schools with greater than 250 students received an allocation for a full-time librarian. But for the coming year, the librarian position at all schools shifted from "core" funding to "flexible" funding, so principals could choose whether to pay for it or not. In the past, most principals had to petition the school system for permission to forego a librarian. Read more about it, or hear the broadcast, at: http://wamu.org/programs/metro_connection/12/04/06/dc_librarians_face_an_uncertain_future


DCPS is only following in the footsteps of nearby Prince George's County, Maryland. PGCPS eliminated half of its school librarians last year. All elementary and middle schools have part time librarians (.4 or .5, depending on school enrollment). I was a school librarian in PGCPS and get e-mails from my former students asking for my help because their current librarian is only in their school 2 days per week.

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