The bedrock of our whole library ecosystem is School Libraries and Librarians. The word from ALA Washington Office is that school libraries are in the proposed reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the "Every Student Succeeds Act".
If you blog, tweet, post, or rant, we'd suggest you put up a few lines of your own about the importance of school libraries to student achievement, talk about how easy it was to call your congress person yourself, and then basically re-post ALA's call-to-action action from http://cqrcengage.com/ala/app/make-a-call?2&engagementId=126198
. It needs to happen this week, by December 2nd.
The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 Conference Agreement to Reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
OVERVIEW OF LIBRARY PROVISIONS
The Every Student Succeeds Act would update the Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA), that was last reauthorized in 2001 under the No Child Left Behind Act. The conference agreement includes the following provisions related to libraries:
Title I – Improving Basic Programs Operated by State and Local Educational Agencies – Under Title I of ESEA, local educational agencies (LEAs) must develop plans to implement federal education activities.
The Conference Agreement includes new provisions that authorize local plans to include a description of how the LEA will assist schools in developing effective school library programs to provide students an opportunity to develop digital literacy skills and improve academic achievement.
Title II, Part A – Supporting Effective Instruction – Under current law, Title II, Part A provides funds for States and school districts to increase academic achievement by improving teacher and principal quality (primarily through professional development).
The Conference Agreement includes new provisions that authorize States to use funds to support the instructional services provided by effective school library programs. The Conference Agreement includes new provisions that authorize LEAs to use funds to support the instructional services provided by effective school library programs.
Title II, Part B, Subpart 2 – Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation (LEARN) – Includes a new literacy program to help improve student academic achievement in reading and writing by providing federal support to States to develop, revise, or update comprehensive literacy instruction plans.
The Conference Agreement requires local grants that focus on children in kindergarten through grade 5 to provide high-quality professional development opportunities for teachers, literacy coaches, literacy specialists, English as a second language specialists (as appropriate), principals, other school leaders, specialized instructional support personnel, school librarians, paraprofessionals, and other program staff. The Conference Agreement requires local grants that focus on children in grades 6 through 12 to provide training for principals, specialized instruction support personnel, school librarians, and other school district personnel to support, develop, administer, and evaluate high-quality comprehensive literacy instruction initiatives. The Conference Agreement authorizes all local grants (that serve children in kindergarten through grade 5 or children in grades 6 through 12) to provide time for teachers (and other literacy staff, as appropriate, such as school librarians or specialized instructional support personnel) to meet to plan comprehensive literacy instruction. 2
Title II, Part B, Subpart 2, Section 2226 – Innovative Approaches to Literacy – Includes a new authorization of the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program (previously funded through appropriations legislation) that provides dedicated funding to promote literacy programs in low income communities.
The Conference Agreement authorizes funds to be used for developing and enhancing effective school library programs, which may include providing professional development for school librarians, books, and up-to-date materials to high need schools.
Title II, Part B, Subpart 2, Section 2232 – Presidential and Congressional Academies for American History and Civics – Includes a new American History and Civics Education program to improve the quality of American history education and teaching.
The Conference Agreement defines an eligible entity as an institution of higher education or nonprofit educational organization, museum, library, or research center with demonstrated expertise in historical methodology or the teaching of American history and civics.
Title IV, Part A – Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants – Authorizes a new Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program to help States and school districts target federal resources on local priorities.
The Conference Agreement authorizes States to use funds to assist LEAs with identifying and addressing technology readiness needs, including Internet connectivity and access to school libraries. The Conference Agreement authorizes States to use funds to assist LEAs in providing teachers, paraprofessionals, school librarians and media personnel, specialized instructional support personnel, and administrators with the knowledge and skills to use technology effectively, including effective integration of technology, to improve instruction and student achievement.
Title IV, Part B – 21st Century Community Learning Centers – This program supports community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children.
The Conference Agreement authorizes grants to be used to support expanded library service hours (consistent with current law).
Title VIII – General Provisions – Contains definitions that apply to all activities under ESEA.
The Conference Agreement updates the definition of “specialized instructional support personnel” to include “school librarians.”