In these times of budget shortfall, it is reasonable to expect cuts to State services. However, it is another thing to cut so severely that it stymies progress on matters vital to the State's future. No one disputes that a first rate public education system is critical to our economy and our people, but progress in public education depends on vital people such as school librarians.
Cutting libraries and librarians during this budget crisis would be a huge mistake for countless reasons, but mostly it is about the librarians and the role in they play in school improvement and student outcomes.
Many studies conducted in States around the USA show a clear correlation between library funding and staffing and student achievement. Behind those numbers are talented, dedicated professionals that involve themselves in all aspects of the school including: staff development, classroom instruction and innovative programs that encourage student creativity and personal growth. Without librarians, classroom teachers would lack valuable partners that help them incorporate technology and critical thinking skills into their loaded curriculum.
I urge the Texas Legislature to avoid short-sighted budget cuts that will only hamper efforts to improve schools in the long run. Librarians are creative and resourceful. They can do more with less, but not without any support from the State. Please help assure a brighter future in public education by funding school library positions and resources as much as practically possible.