AASL Legislation Committee (American Association of School Libraries) Committee
Friends - get the word out to all your contacts -
Ensure the Future of School Library Funding: Tell your Senators to co-sponsor the SKILLS Act
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) provides federal funding for K-12 education programs. Reauthorization of legislation of this nature will determine federal education policy for the coming decade and it is imperative that dedicated funding for school library programs be included.
On January 29, 2015, Senators Reed (D-RI), Cochran (R-MI), and Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced S. 312, the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries Act (SKILLS Act), that would improve students’ literacy skills and readiness for higher education and careers through effective school library programs. ALA is currently working with Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI) on an amendment for the HELP Committee markup that would add provisions from the SKILLS Act to ESEA to provide dedicated funding for effective school library programs.
We need you to contact both Senators from your state and let them know how critical school libraries are in improving our education system. Ask them to support dedicated funding for effective school library programs under ESEA by co-sponsoring S.312.
Happy New Year to all of you!!
ALA Midwinter Meeting - Sessions of Interest sponsored by the Washington Office
This sounds good but conflicts with the AASL Affiliate Assembly Meeting for me - perhaps one of you might be able to attend and report back to the rest of the committee.
Panel of ebook policy experts to address 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting
ALA DCWG: Libraries and Ebooks—Where Do We Go from Here?” 10:30–11:30 a.m. - Sunday, February 1, 2015 McCormick Convention Center - W196B
Complete List of ALA Washington Office Presentations during the Midwinter Meeting http://www.districtdispatch.org/washington-events/ala-midwinter-sessions/
See you in Chicago!
Hello friends -
Just a note to say "hello" and let you know that I will be following up with the group on a number of things over the next several weeks related to our committee work leading up to ALA Midwinter. Please take a few minutes to let everyone know a bit about yourself.
First a bit about me - I am known as "Jay" (although I think I am listed by my first name Carl) -- am the Program Specialist for School Libraries for the Maryland State Department of Education and have been an active member of AASL for 13 years. I have served as Chair of the AASL Affiliate Assembly, currently represent MASL (Maryland) on the Assembly, and served a two year term on the AASL Board as well as a single term on the Executive Committee. Most recently, I was President of the Council of State School Library Consultants (CoSSLC) and serve on the Maryland Library Association Legislative Panel. I am an avid barbershop singer, reader, and love to travel.
Jan. 31, 2015 (8:30 am - 10 am) Joint Legislation Meeting (AASL/ALSC/YALSA) (our year to host) - MCP - W175a (McCormack Place West)
Jan. 31, 2015 (3 pm - 5:30 pm) AASL All-Committee Meeting -- HYATT - Columbus CD (Hyatt Regency - Chicago) -we will meet as a committee during this time
May 4-5, 2015 - National Library Legislative Day (Washington, DC) - http://www.ala.org/advocacy/advleg/nlld
I will let you know about the ALA Committee on Legislation and other meetings you might want to attend after I retrieve those from my e-mail account. Let me also know if you will be joining us in Chicago!
Look for another note from me right after Thanksgiving -- enjoy your holiday!
Hello friends -
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday and some wonderful time off with your family and friends. I still have not seen introductions yet from many of you and hope you will be able to do so in the next several days and also find out whether or not you will be joining us in Chicago at the end of January. ALA Connect is our forum to communicate with each other so please engage as soon as possible.
To get everyone up to speed, it is important that you follow to some degree the work of the ALA Washington Office and one way to do that is at the very least by subscribing to their blog. I have included some links for you below including the link to the blog. At the moment there is no movement on ESEA (and none expected soon) but I have included the link to the policy page so you can familiarize yourself on where things left off.
Will keep you posted.
Become familiar with the ALA Washington Office Web Page http://www.ala.org/offices/wo
Subscribe to ALA Washington Office Blog - District Dispatch http://www.districtdispatch.org/
Sign up at the American Library Association's Legislative Action Center http://cqrcengage.com/ala/home
Distribute the date and send around the flyer for National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) 2015 http://www.ala.org/advocacy/sites/ala.org.advocacy/files/content/advleg/nlld/nlld_2015_flyer.pdf
Become familiar with some of the issues – specifically read the most recent news about ESEA Reauthorization (nothing new) http://www.ala.org/advocacy/advleg/federallegislation/eduleg/schoollibraries/esea
I hope this finds everyone well and ready to head to Washington, D.C., to do some much needed lobbying of our Congress. We have been busy here in Ohio, despite our harsh winter, lobbying our state school board to reconsider current wording of Ohio Operating Standards, so that it is not an option for the hiring of School Librarians. Instead we are asking that wording reflects the importance of hiring certified school librarians as our state funding is reduced, and more and more school librarians are being laid off or reassigned to the classroom for the 2014-2015 school year. If you have not seen the following video of Dr. Stephan Crashen talking to the LAUSD Board meeting where he explains how poverty effects poor children's reading abilities, and urges the Board to think twice about purchasing more technologies, at the deficit of more librarians and more books, see the video:
Please pass it on where ever and when ever you can. This year Ohio, and at least 13 other states, now have the Third Grade Reading Guarantee or similar laws in place which will start retaining children to repeat the 3rd Grade if they fail to pass reading tests after two tries. For states where poverty has taken a foot hold after the Great Recession, I am fearful of the havoc this law will wreak on this generation of children, especially children in my own district where over half are on the National School Lunch Program. We will continue our efforts here as AASL continues to make plans to address a larger audience about the importance of LSTA and IAL legislation. I urge everyone to contact their legislators to sign on in support of the two Congressional Acts. I hope to see you soon and if not, perhaps we will meet at the ALA in Las Vegas. Happy Trails!