School Budgets and Library Programs

Will your school district’s budget adequately fund your school library? 

Voter approval is no longer required for school budgets at or below the state’s 2% spending cap levy.  Under a new law, only districts whose proposed budget exceeds the 2% spending cap are required to get voter approval.  

How does the law impact the school library program?

Past experience shows that in an effort to balance their budgets and stay within state’s spending cap, school districts sometimes cut funding to non-classroom programs including the school library program and staff.  

Now is the time for School Library Media Specialists (SLMS) to take action 

to ensure that the library program is adequately funded and staffed.

As policy makers consider new measures to implement the Common Core Standards, and school districts begin drafting their budgets, we need to make sure that everyone is aware of the value of school library programs in educating students of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.  

Many SLMS will meet with their school principal or other administrator to draft a budget for the library program.  This is an ideal time to advocate for funding for a strong school library program staffed by certified SLMS.

All SLMS should take the initiative to inform school administrators in their district about the valuable contributions they make to the instructional program and student success.  Key to making your case is having up-to-date information about:

  • What a good school library program looks like; and
  • The role of a good school library program in educating students

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