Friday, June 23, 2006

uphill battle in Federal Way

It's all about the librarians--or, in Federal Way, the lack thereof.
Federal Way Superintendent Tom Murphy has recommended a budget that aims to avoid a $4 million shortfall largely through slashing the number of librarians from 34 to seven. Each school currently has one librarian; the recommendation would give each school a librarian one day a week.

"The effects will be dramatic," said Chad Marsh, Decatur High School's librarian. "We're going to be sending students out from our high schools that aren't as well-prepared as students from communities that have library programs that are well-staffed and well-funded."

The budget proposal, which the Federal Way School Board will vote on after a public hearing Tuesday, would allow noncertificated aides to operate school libraries on days the librarian wasn't there. Currently, librarians run the libraries, work with teachers to develop curriculum related to books and help teach kids how to manage information they find in research.
No disrespect to noncertificated aides--my mom runs an elementary library, and she gets something like $13 per hour, never having been certified--but schools deserve highly qualified instructors at all levels.

(Yes, we'll be in session this summer. We never quit thinking about education in the great Northwest.)

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