Tuesday, February 4, 2014

ACTION REQUESTED! Legislative Alert HF2103

Wednesday, February 5th, the Education Appropriations Subcommittee will discuss Representative Dolecheck's bill HF2103This bill would alter previous legislation that incentivizes the sharing of certain positions across districts for efficiency purposes. Instead of sharing instructional personnel like Teacher Librarians, Guidance Counselors and others, sharing of positions across districts would be limited to Superintendents, Business Managers, Human Resources, Transportation and Operations/Maintenance staff. 

Please encourage your legislators to support this bill. IASL recognizes the goal of being efficient in small districts, but don't want our students to suffer because their instructors are being shared in multiple school districts.

The following message was sent by the IASL Advocacy Committee to several legislators. Please consider sending a similar letter, or making a phone call before tomorrow morning to express your support.

I am writing to urge you to support Representative Dolecheck's bill HF 2103. 

As a Teacher Librarian, taxpayer and constituent, I certainly understand the goal of making our school districts as cost effective as possible while ensuring that our students receive the highest quality education Iowa can offer, and that sharing certain positions across districts can make sense.  However, I have been very concerned to discover that the previous bill, HF 472, included several instructional positions among those that could be shared, including Guidance Counselors and School Librarians.   Both of these roles have instructional impact on our students, especially that of the Teacher Librarian.

Teacher Librarians not only administer the physical library space, but are also vital to student's reading and information literacy education. We teach students how to locate, evaluate, use, and create information. We teach students how read, comprehend, and enjoy literature. We work with classroom teachers to integrate technology and 21st century skills into all disciplines. 

When a Teacher Librarian is stretched beyond one school building, he or she can no longer provide the excellent services and essential teaching that our students deserve.  We hope that the language in HF2103 will ensure that our students have consistent and reliable access to the expertise a Teacher Librarian can bring to their school community.

Thank you for taking action on this important issue.