Who Needs Literacy? Only Federal Program Funding School Libraries Eliminated

WASHINGTON, D.C.– The Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program was zeroed out under the Department of Education’s allocation for FY2011 funding (PDF), released today.

Improving Literacy Through School Libraries is the only federal program solely for our nation’s school libraries. This program supports local education agencies in improving reading achievement by providing students with increased access to up-to-date school library materials; well-equipped, technologically advanced school libraries; and professionally certified school librarians.

“This decision shows that school libraries have been abandoned by President Obama and the Department of Education,” Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office, said.

“The Department has withdrawn funding for numerous successful literacy programs in order to launch new initiatives to bolster science, technology, engineering, and math education. Apparently, what the Department of Education fails to realize is that the literacy and research skills students develop through an effective school library program are the very building blocks of STEM education. Withdrawing support from this crucial area of education is an astounding misstep by an Administration that purports to be a champion of education reform.”

Nancy Everhart, president of the ALA’s Association of School Librarians (AASL), said school library programs provide students with the skills they need to select, interpret, form and communicate ideas in compelling ways with emerging technologies, preparing students for the demands of a global, competitive economy and a 21st century workplace.

“Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that students in schools with strong school library programs learn more, get better grades, and score higher on standardized tests even when differences in socioeconomic factors are taken into consideration,” Everhart said.


I want to vote for him again, but I'm having a hard time justifying it. Just look at his copyright policies, the crap the FCC has allowed though and now this.

Does anyone else share my concerns?

Our law makers in Washington should be ashamed of themselves! From the President on down they send their kids to private schools which actually have the money to pay for librarians (many private school libraries have librarians at each level, and some times more than one at the secondary level) as well as new books, computers and other resources. They make speeches about the dire state of our public education system today (especially how we graduate kids who can't read), yet they eliminate what is for many schools the only source of funding for library materials, and they consider librarians to be "support staff". As main posting noted, how are kids supposed to excel in math, science and technology if they can't read or do research?!

Schools are run and paid for by local government. The federal government should not be funding school libraries. If states want to fund school libraries they should tax their citizens and pay for the libraries.

The federal government has no authority to be doing this. What section of the constitution allows they to tax us for local libraries?

Seriously? It's WAY more liberal than you'd think. I suggest you read it sometime.

Here's a primer on the General Welfare clause.


I have read the constitution. Even the Wikipedia article you link to questions how broadly the general welfare clause can be used. There is a whole bunch of cases where the commerce clause is used to create the authority for the feds to act. Why is the commerce clause so often latched onto? Because the other clauses are even more dicey in regards to their authority of what they can do.

The General Welfare Clause is not an independent grant of power to Congress. It is not a grant of authority for Congress to pass social legislation. It is not a special grant to spend money on anything. Instead, the General Welfare Clause places restrictions on the reasons for which taxes are levied and restrictions on how those taxes are designated.

Article: The General Welfare Clause: An Exploration of Original Intent and Constitutional Limits Pertaining to the Rapidly Expanding Federal Budget

Creighton Law Review, Volume 45 Page 543 (2010)

Wanting to Abolish the Department of Education Is Not Radical

It's a great, burbling vat of waste, and it is not extremist to say so.


The DOEd may be corrupt to the hilt, but instances like this:


kinda encourage that it continue existing, because whether we like it or not, we're all in this together and need to keep the "DUH" down to a minimum if we want to stay relevant in the new, global economy.

So what is the department of Ed at the federal level going to actually do about this? Mandate that evolution be taught in that state? We have a federal department of Ed and I don't see that they are fixing any of this.

What I hate about this issue is that if you are against the federal department of Ed people think they can drop you in the anti-education box. I am not anti-education. I am just against a federal department that should not even exist wasting tons of money. This money that us being wasted could have been kept at the state level and actually used to build and maintain libraries.

Hadn't been to Snopes in a while; I hadn't realized that they had their own section of made-up entries. (The one linked above is one of them. They even have a link at the bottom to "False authority syndrome".)

Problem with Snopes being funny is that by having the truth hidden behind a link they are merely fueling the problem people are trying to show off. Surely it is good to say that it is true/false because I saw it on 'a place that actually had quality control', rather than allowing people to just look at inaccurate things through Google.

I wouldn't mind so much if Texas, for example, wants to teach creationism and defund all their school libraries, if they would promise to keep all of their ill-educated, ill-informed youth from leaving the state after they graduate. But Texas can't guarantee that, and they're going to inflict those ill-educated, ill-informed youth on the rest of us. That's why education is a national, not just a state or local, concern.

Add new comment


  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote> <img> <b> <marquee> <strike> <del> <p> <iframe>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Subscribe to Comments for "Who Needs Literacy?  Only Federal Program Funding School Libraries Eliminated"