Keep Librarians in Washington, DC Schools

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Target: DC Public Schools Chancellor, Kaya Henderson, and DC Mayor, Vincent Gray

Goal: Reconfigure the DC Public Schools budget to keep librarians in schools.

DC Mayor Vincent Gray and DC Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson recently released a new five-year plan for Washington’s public schools that aims to improve literacy and reading proficiency. They issued a statement on the DC Public Schools website affirming that school librarians play a very important role in education and have been proven to improve student learning. Unfortunately, their claims do not align with their decision to re-label school librarians as optional/flexible staff.

If Mayor Gray and Chancellor Henderson go through with their decision to issue budget cuts, 57 schools and 16,600 students in Washington DC will have no librarian this upcoming school year and will not receive appropriate library materials. According to an independent analysis by City Council, the DC Public School system has enough money in its budget to fund a librarian and high quality library materials for all of its schools. If Mayor Gray and Chancellor Henderson do not re-evaluate their priorities and reconfigure the budget to keep librarians in the schools, they will be unnecessarily depriving students of one of their most important educational resources and creating long-term negative consequences for the school district.

Last year, various DC urban public schools managed to raise their reading scores thanks to excellent teachers and librarians who were focused on meeting student needs. Without librarians or library materials, Mayor Gray and Chancellor Henderson are undermining students’ needs and basically eliminating any chances for schools to continue improve literacy and reading proficiency rates, as outlined in their own five-year plan.

Sign the petition below to join outraged parents and educators demanding that Mayor Gray and Chancellor Henderson restore librarians as essential staff in schools and put money toward a sufficient per student allotment of materials so students can succeed.

PETITION LETTER

Dear DC Public Schools Chancellor, Kaya Henderson, and DC Mayor, Vincent Gray,

I am writing to express my extreme disappointment regarding your decision to label school librarians as optional/flexible staff. In the new five-year plan, you claim to want to improve literacy and reading proficiency. In the DCPS website, you affirm that school librarians play a very important role in education and have been proven to improve student learning. Why, then, do you intend to purposefully deprive DC students of one of their most important educational resources?

If you let go of school librarians due to budget cuts, 57 schools and 16,600 students in Washington DC will have no librarian this upcoming school year and will not receive appropriate library materials. According to an independent analysis by City Council, the DC Public School system has enough money in its budget to fund a librarian and high quality library materials for all of its schools. If you do not re-evaluate your priorities and reconfigure the budget to keep librarians in schools, you will be creating long-term negative consequences for the school district and undermining student needs.

Last year, various DC urban public schools managed to raise their reading scores thanks to excellent teachers and librarians who were focused on meeting student needs. If you leave students without librarians or library materials, you will basically be eliminating any chances for schools to continue improve literacy and reading proficiency rates, as outlined in your own five-year plan. This is not just counter-intuitive, it is downright foolish.

I urge you to reconfigure the DC Public Schools budget to restore librarians as essential staff in schools and put money toward a sufficient per student allotment of materials so students can succeed.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Sign the Petition

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52 Signatures

  • Marianne Oelman
  • Hermann Kastner
  • Eric von Borstel
  • Mal Gaff
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Holly Hall
  • Jutta Taraniuk
  • Melanie waleski
  • Ricki Newman
  • sundriya grubb
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