School Libraries Slashed

BC teacher-librarians stunned by proposed cuts

Teacher-librarians across the province are stunned by proposed cuts to teacher-librarian staffing in recent budget recommendations by Vancouver and Coquitlam, said Heather Daly, president of the BC Teacher-Librarians’ Association.

“Once upon a time, the provincial government said they wanted BC to be the most literate jurisdiction in North America,” said Daly. “But now, government underfunding is forcing school districts to lay off the very people that help children learn to read.

“Teacher-librarians don’t just teach students to read, we teach them to love reading. Teacher-librarians teach research skills and Internet literacy. Without teacher-librarians, schools and students will lose a valuable resource that will only negatively impact their learning.”

In Vancouver, the board of education has proposed:
Reduction of 43.0 FTE teachers including resource teachers (ESL and Special Education), learning assistance/skills development teachers, secondary school counsellors, and teacher-librarians.
This proposed reduction of learning specialist teachers including teacher-librarians, with a budget impact of $2,911,530, is the largest, single proposed cut within the budget recommendations.
Elimination of the 1.0 FTE teacher-librarian consultant position with the subsequent addition of a 0.4 FTE teacher-librarian mentor.
Elimination of 0.4 additional teacher-librarian time at Britannia Elementary, with 0.2 eliminated in 2010–11 and the remaining 0.2 eliminated in 2011–12.

In Coquitlam, the board of education has proposed:
· Reduction of 9.0 FTE non-enrolling teachers including teacher-librarians.

· This proposed reduction, with a budget impact of $810,000, is the largest, single proposed cut within the budget recommendations.

“The BC Teacher-Librarians’ Association is calling on all boards of education to preserve school library services for students and reject recommendations that will hurt literacy in BC,” said Daly. “Schools need a library that is open all day and staffed with a teacher-librarian to ensure students have the best access to books and research possible.”

For more information, go to the BC Teacher-Librarians’ Association website at http://www.bctf.ca/BCTLA or contact Heather Daly at 604-937-6380.

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