Extensive research reveals that 26 states have requirements, either in actual state laws or regulations, to employ school librarians (Kachel & Lance 2020). Unfortunately, 16 of the 26 state do not enforce the requirements. Go to https://libslide.org/publications/ for the full report.
Federal Flash is the Alliance for Excellent Education’s five-minute (or less!) video series on important developments in education policy in Washington, DC. Sign up to receive email notices for the next video. Or go to https://all4ed.org/publications/federal-flash/
Although created for the Regional Leaders Academy for PA School Librarians, July 11-12, 2017, this PowerPoint has basic advice when talking or communicating with legislators. Created by Deb Kachel
Legislation Requiring Teacher Librarians in WA
Teacher librarians are legislatively required based on the state’s K–12 education funding formula, called the Prototypical School Funding Model (PSFM), was adopted by the Legislature in 2010. However, this school funding legislation has not been fully funded (implementation has been delayed until 2022) and thus the staffingrequirements are mostly ignored by school districts. The model includes “teacher librarians at .663 librarians per 1,000 students at the elementary level; .519 at the middle school level; .523 at the high school level.” RCW 28A.150.260 Allocation of state funding to support instructional program of basic education—Distribution formula.
RCW. 28A.320.240- School library information and technology programs - Resources and materials - Teacher-librarians -identifies the criteria for "quality" school library information and technology programs able to support Washington's academic standards and graduation requirements. OSPI. https://www.k12.wa.us/educator-support/education-staff-associate-esa/librarians/laws-regulations-guidance
"SHB 2637/SSB 6371 – Expanding School Library and Information Technology Programs: WLA’s School Library jumped into session with both feet to pass a bill that would remove language in the current law allowing school district to avoid spending resources on school libraries. Washington is a forward-thinking state with a law that clearly states school boards should provide resources for school library information technology programs – and with FTE money and the $20 per student for library materials coming from the state, the resources certainly exist. The problem is the law requiring school boards to provide the resources includes the language “as they deem necessary” – which many districts are using to avoid having important school library services that benefit teaching and student success. WLA’s bill would have removed this language and also added provisions to help determine what is happening with school libraries now and how to help districts that do not have libraries get them set up. The original bill also included additional funding for school librarians but the cost of this provision ($245 million) was too large for legislators to support.
Although WLA provided great testimony, resources and grassroots support, in the end legislators did not move the bill forward for a vote. The reason we were given was that they wanted to focus on putting more effort into school counselors. They did pass a bill requiring school counselor programs but in the end the Governor vetoed the money appropriated for additional school counselors."
Requires OSPI to establish a grant program for supporting media literacy and digital citizenship. Requires OSPI to convene two regional conferences on the subject of media literacy and digital citizenship
MSOC Money Per Student for Library Materials
2021 legislation impacting WLA and School Libraries:
WA 2021 legislative actions benefit librarians willing to spend time on funding sources.
WLA lobbyist Carolyn Logue shared per student budget for libraries pulled from MSOC (material, supplies, and operating costs) is $21.54 per student:
From Carolyn: “….intent by the legislature that library materials and teacher librarians be funded and that there is accountability for how the district is using the money if they do not use it for the purpose outlined… My suggestion is always to put together a plan that shows how both students and teachers will benefit. With the current pandemic, I would utilize a “lessons learned” approach and how the library materials are needed to benefit equity, student (and teacher) mental health, and helping students regain lost learning.”
Click on pie graph to see percentages of schools with and without librarians.