The Freedom to Read Foundation, joined by key library and learning advocates, filed an amicus brief November 25 with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the constitutionality of an Arizona statute that bans ethnic studies. The statute violates students’ First Amendment rights, Barbara M. Jones, FTRF’s executive director, says.
New York City’s local teachers’ union, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), is urging NY State Commissioner of Education Dr. John King to deny a recent request by the city’s Department of Education that the city’s public schools be exempted from state minimum staffing requirements for certified school library media specialists, the UFT tells School Library Journal. King has not yet issued a ruling on the matter.
The Education Library Networks Coalition—which includes the American Library Association and the International Society for Technology in Education—is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to double the funding for E-rate, according to EdLiNC’s co-chair Jon Bernstein. The coalition also asks that the E-rate program offer more “scalable” goals for local entities, with limited national mandates.
There is only a short time left to nominate a connected educator for the White House’s next “Champions of Change” event, which celebrates education leaders who creatively use technology to help kids learn. Those selected will be invited to the White House in October—in honor of Connected Educator Month—to showcase their efforts to support more connected schools and students. Online nominations are due by midnight on Friday, September 20.
The American Library Association on Monday asked the Federal Communications Commission to accelerate the goals of E-rate, the program that provides discounted Internet access and telecommunications services to U.S. schools and libraries. ALA’s statement specifically calls for faster deployment of high-capacity broadband and new strategic investments in infrastructure, as well as program changes to save costs and streamline the process so that more schools and libraries can participate in the program.
New York City’s librarians, teachers, and parents are prepping for a major battle with the city’s Department of Education on the heels of its official request to the New York State Education Department last week that it be exempted from state minimum staffing requirements for certified school library media specialists. The city’s move follows years of quiet noncompliance with the state mandate despite two petitions from the local teachers union to the State Commissioner of Education.
Linda Lord, Maine’s state librarian, represented the nation’s 16,400 public libraries Wednesday in her call to Congress to provide a “proactive vision for meeting the educational and learning needs of our communities for the next 15 years and beyond.” Her testimony—at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation—also detailed the success of the E-rate program in helping serve more than 30 million people every week.
The National Education Association this week voted to support the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) in its lobbying efforts with regard to the “Strengthening America’s Schools Act,” the first piece of legislation to recognize the role school library programs play in student learning since 1965, according to the American Library Association.
The White House’s announcement last week of the ConnectEd initiative, President Obama’s urging of the FCC to overhaul the E-Rate program, is only the first step in what must be a larger, committed effort to fully fund technology in our nation’s schools and libraries, the International Society for Technology in Education says.
The White House’s announcement Thursday that it is urging the FCC to overhaul E-Rate—the program that provides discounted Internet access and telecommunications services to U.S. schools and libraries—is an important and nearly unprecedented step forward in closing the digital divide, the American Library Association tells SLJ.
The Strengthening America’s Schools Act, introduced in the Senate on Tuesday by Tom Harkin (D-IA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Jack Reed (D-RI), includes strong provisions for effective school library programs, and is the first piece of legislation to recognize the role school library programs play in student learning since 1965, according to the American Library Association.
Parents in Washington, DC, are taking to the streets, advocating for more funding for their school libraries and librarians. The Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization (CHPSPO) has spent the past seven months pushing for Washington, DC, to open its coffers to school libraries to replenish shelves, upgrade library spaces and hire more librarians for K–12 students.
Public libraries in the UK have another strong supporter: Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson, who, on
Public libraries in the UK have another strong supporter: Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson, who, on the eve of a six-week library tour, sent an open letter to the newly appointed Culture Secretary Maria Miller, urging her to save Britain’s libraries.
Give Sara Stevenson a computer and a cause—and you’ll be glad she’s on your side. The school librarian at O. Henry Middle School in Austin, TX. is well-known in educational circles for her opinion pieces and letters to the editor—which appear in her local Austin American-Statesman, and nationally in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal)— succinct and well-sourced points that she hopes will give readers an educator’s point of view as they shape their own opinions about the educational reform movement.