Urgent: Speak Out for School Libraries in September

August 26, 2016

In December 2015, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law. ESSA replaces No Child Left Behind and, thanks to the work of library advocates, specifically includes language regarding “effective school library programs.”

The Illinois School Library Media Association (ISLMA) is working to ensure that the federal funding from ESSA that will flow through the Illinois School Board of Education (ISBE) will include mandatory allocations for school libraries. A task force is working with the nonprofit group Everylibrary.org to help enlist public support. Recent cuts affecting school librarians in Chicago Public Schools is just one example of why this is so critical to our profession and the education of our children.

Beginning Tuesday, September 6, ISBE is hosting a second round of listening tours to collect feedback on ESSA implementation in Illinois. It is imperative that the library community is actively involved in these listening tours. ISLMA needs library supporters to attend and speak at these events. The dates and locations for the listening tour are listed here; you can also see a map of locations.

Please go to this link to let ISLMA know that you are attending one of the listening tour meetings. They will make sure that you receive the talking points directly, which will also be posted on the ISLMA website.  If you have any questions, please contact ISLMA President Patti Fleser.

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