School districts around BC have been cutting teacher-librarians to balance their budgets. This spring some school boards proposed cutting ALL teacher-librarian staffing. In some districts that’s already happened. In other cases these cuts were reduced to providing half-time school librarian services.
Half-time teacher-librarians. That means libraries open half the time (or staffed by clerks solely trained to check out resources). That’s less teaching time for classes in the library and no time for teacher-librarians to encourage, instruct and meet students’ individual learning needs.
So what? Why are teacher-librarians important?
There’s an information economy out there. But apparently in BC, there’s no need for our students to learn about evaluating and using information.
From 2001 to 2014, BC lost nearly 300 FTE teacher-librarians — close to one-third. More were lost again this spring. See the spreadsheet graphic below to see how your district was doing but remember that further cuts may have been made last spring for the current 2014-15 school year.
The government underfunding that caused these cuts has not ended. More cuts to teacher-librarians, and other specialist teachers, can be expected next spring when school districts set their budgets.
And the message from this government about our kids’ education? It’s not a priority.
Visit your MLA. Ask them why they think information literacy isn’t a priority for our kids.
Or you can make a submission to the MLAs on the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. Visit their webpage for information on participating in the hearings, on making a written submission or to fill in their survey about budget priorities. (See our earlier post on the committee’s budget consultation hearings.)