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July 30, 2015

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U.S. Senate Passes Its Version of ESEA, Emphasizing School Libraries

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The U.S. Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act on Thursday, July 16—requiring states to include at least one measure of student supports such as school librarians, school counselors and art and music classes in their accountability systems.

#getESEAright: ALA Joins Twitter Campaign for ESEA

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The American Library Association is joining a Twitter effort (#getESEAright) on April 9 from 7−8 p.m. ET to support dedicated funding for school libraries through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act.

Illinois Law Lets Schools Request Students’ Social Media Passwords

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This January, a law to target cyberbullying went into effect in Illinois allowing schools and colleges to request students’ social media passwords. The law raises serious questions about student privacy and school policies regarding students’ social media activity.

Step Up on ESEA: Act now to get school libraries built into this federal legislation | Editorial

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A decade of potential school library support hangs in the balance. Tell your U.S. senators and representatives how critical school libraries are in delivering quality education, helping schools and kids keep up with new technologies, and fueling engagement with learning as a lifelong necessity and pleasure.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

UPDATE: Teen Library Advocates Get Booted Out of Missouri Governor’s Office

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Last week, a group of teens and supervising adults that belong to Save MO Libraries visited the Missouri governor’s office to ask him to restore the $6 million in budget cuts to library spending—only to be escorted out by a state trooper moments later for being “disruptive.”

Update: ESEA: ALA and Advocacy Community Urging School Library Supporters to Act Now

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With the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act coming up, the American Library Association has been leading the campaign to get dedicated funding for school libraries into the bill.

Teen Library Advocates Get Booted Out of Missouri Governor’s Office (redirect)

Net Neutrality: Why You Should Care About the FCC Vote

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The Federal Communications Commission vote concerning the regulation of Internet broadband services and net neutrality is on February 26, and here’s why schools and libraries should care.

Kansas May Criminalize Educators for Distributing “Harmful Material”

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A proposed bill in Kansas removes the protection of educators against prosecution for sharing so-called “harmful material” in schools. Senate Bill 56 has sparked strong partisanship, and the American Library Association is closely monitoring its progress.

Updated: The E-Rate Window Is Wide Open—So What Next?

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Libraries and schools applying for E-Rate’s Wi-Fi program have an extra $1.5 billion of funds to tap until the March 26 deadline. Here are some tips and tools to maximize your application.

OH Department of Education Will Vote to Purge School Librarian Requirement

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The Ohio Department of Education is trying to purge the “5 of 8” rule, which mandates that school districts hire five staff members in “education service personnel,” including librarians, for every 1,000 students.

Five Trends That Make 2015 Worth Celebrating| Editorial

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The new year is always a time of optimism. This year in particular, positive tendencies will influence our work in schools and public libraries.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Opinion: State Legislation and Parent Advocates Must Bridge Skills Gap

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With information literacy among the top five skills that employers look for in potential hires, according to a recent report, Sarah Darer Littman argues that it is not just state regulation supporting the hiring of certified media specialists that will bridge the skills gap—but the advocacy of parents.

FCC Approves E-Rate Plan to Inject $2 Billion into WiFi for Schools and Libraries

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On July 11, the FCC narrowly passed the “Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” for the Program to Modernize E-Rate which translates into $2 billion over the next two years towards WiFi funding in schools and libraries.

The FCC To Vote on $2 Billion E-Rate Proposal, Librarians Are Speaking Out

Common Core Will Stress Already Inadequate E-rate Funding

On July 11, a big E-Rate vote for Wi-Fi funding for schools and libraries is coming up. The latest FCC proposal states that libraries’ Wi-Fi funding be determined by a space’s square footage—$1 per square foot. With $2 billion at stake, librarians across the country are objecting to this funding formula with claims that it doesn’t serve high-need urban libraries where square footage does not represent the number of visitors.

Stephen Krashen to LA School Board: Invest in Libraries

Five months before the Los Angeles Unified School District board passed a new 6.6 billion budget, literacy expert Stephen Krashen delivered an impassioned speech to the board, urging a bold investment in libraries. See Krashen’s speech here.

Vermont School Librarians Win—And Are Recognized in State Standards Once Again

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In August 2013, the Vermont School Library Association discovered the requirement for their jobs was being removed from the language of the state’s Education Quality Standards. In response, school, university, public, and state librarians campaigned to become a requirement in state standards once again—and won.

$750 Million ConnectED Pledge Includes $100 Million From O’Reilly Media, Safari Books Online

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O’Reilly Media and Safari Books Online will donate over $100 Million in technology resources to US K-12 schools. The pledge is part of $750 million in new corporate support for President Obama’s ConnectED initiative, along with donations from Apple, Microsoft, Sprint, and Autodesk.

AASL, Head Start Praise Federal Budget’s Focus on Early Learning

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The American Association of School Librarians and the National Head Start Association are praising the early learning dollars included in this week’s federal budget. However, both say challenges to funding remain—and the budget comes too late to help the 57,000 children cut off from Head Start last year.

School Libraries May Benefit from Congressional Budget Deal

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The $1.012 trillion spending bill unveiled by House and Senate leaders, if approved, will restore most of the critically needed federal education funding that was dramatically cut during last year’s sequestration. The boon to poorer school districts could ease budget squeezes that have forced the elimination of school librarians.