Rapid Response for School Librarians in Cedar Rapids

The school system in Cedar Rapids, IA is facing a significant budget shortfall next year, and they are proposing to balance the budget by cutting school librarian positions.

We have been asked by local school advocates there to help share the word about the proposed position cuts and to activate the community to preserve these vital school librarian positions in the budget. Please sign and share the "Don't Cut Cedar Rapids School Librarians" petition before the Combined Schools board meets on Monday, April 25th.  School librarians are uniquely qualified and effective in supporting student achievement. Cutting them in a budget crisis will harm student success.

We found out about this situation last night (Thursday). We were on the phone with the folks on the ground this morning (Friday). The petition was up by lunch and the ads started going out moments after that. The work we are doing in here has to be fast. The Cedar Rapids school board meets Monday at 5:30pm. The petition is one way for board to hear what the community thinks about its school librarians, and what the community wants its budget priorities to be.

EveryLibrary is only able to do this work quickly and effectively because of our Rapid Response Fund. We set up this Fund in 2013 to let us buy advertising on Facebook or other social media to jump start grassroots local advocacy campaigns. It has been sustained by Rosen Publishing and its president Roger Rosen, along with dozens of individual donors. Without their donor support, we couldn't buy the ads we need to get the word out fast and the signatures quickly.  If you want to be a part of making sure we have the resources for the next Rapid Response crisis, please donate today. A one-time donation is great; it helps refill what we're spending. A monthly donation is better, since we don't have to check the bank account before we press 'go'.

We're tired of these kinds of school librarian budget stories. The work that ALA and AASL did to get school librarians and school libraries into ESSA, the Every Student Succeeds Act, will change the future for student achievement through school libraries. The "implementation timeline" for that new law is set by the federal government and isn't legally going to start until the 2017-2018 school year. As the states work on their version of local implementation, EveryLibrary wants to help school library / librarian advocates make the changes to their state law and regulation that ESSA now allows for.

We'd like to do fewer of these petitions in the future.


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  • John Chrastka
    published this page in News and Updates 2021-01-16 05:23:47 -0800