AASL President, Cassandra Barrett, is shocked that schools with large large numbers of students living in poverty are having their federal school library funds eliminated in the Oligarchs' new education budget. What she does not realize is that the new corporate charter schools for the poor have been planned with no school libraries or librarians, which neatly eliminates the need for federal library funds. When the goal is segregation, containment, and psychological neutering of the poor by highly unqualified "teachers," who needs libraries?
By Debra Lau Whelan -- School Library Journal,02/01/2010
President Obama has delivered a slap in the face to school librarians. In his FY2011 budget proposal to Congress on Monday, he completely eliminated the Improving Literacy for School Libraries grant program, designed to boost academic achievement by providing students with access to up-to-date school library materials.
“I’m shocked,” says Cassandra Barnett, president of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and a media specialist at Fayetteville High School in Arkansas. “On one level, I’m angry, and on another level, I’m highly disappointed. This is a real morale killer.”
President Obama unveils the fiscal year 2011 budget, which wipes out federal funding specifically earmarked for school libraries.
Although Obama’s proposal includes a $400 billion investment in education, there’s no mention of federal funds specifically geared toward school libraries—and that means schools with at least 20 percent of students coming from families who live below the poverty line will no longer have access to those badly needed monies for everything from library books and extended hours to technology and professional development.
“[Obama] is proposing to take away the last access to literacy for these kids in high-poverty areas,” says Barnett, whose own school qualifies for the grant program. If Congress approves the proposal, Barnett’s says her library budget will suffer and her district won’t rehire a library supervisor as planned.
Lisa Layera Brunkan, one of the three moms who co-founded the Fund Our Future Washington grassroots organization that lobbied for and secured $4 million in emergency funding for school libraries in their state, says Obama’s proposal would punish “our poorest, our most remote, and our most challenged students.”“Put simply, cutting this program will hurt the children of the school districts that are scraping by with the least resources,” she adds. “The types of programs that are funded by Improving Literacy Through School Libraries are exactly what the business world and universities are saying matter and what parents want for their children."