Pledge to Vote Yes: AzLA and EveryLibrary Back Prop 208 for Arizona Education Funding
The Arizona Library Association (AzLA), the Teacher Librarian Division of AzLA, and EveryLibrary are partnering to support Arizona Ballot Proposition 208: The Invest in Education Act.
It is time for Arizona library lovers and school library stakeholders to help fix the funding for every public school in our state, and increase student and educator equitable access to the work of state-certified school librarians and effective school library programs.
The Invest in Education Act proposes an increase in public school funding in Arizona through a 3.5% state income tax surcharge on the wealthiest taxpayers in Arizona. When passed, school districts will have the power to use these funds to hire more school librarians who can create and sustain effective school library programs for students across Arizona.
“If Proposition 208 passes, 50% of the funding will go directly to hiring and increasing salaries for classroom teachers and instructional support personnel, including school librarians,” said John Walsh, President of AzLA. “The school librarian position is probably the most underrated and under-appreciated position in librarianship. It is a shame that this invaluable position has been all but forgotten when it comes to K-12 education funding. The introduction of new funding from Prop 208 is greatly needed and appreciated.”
Schools with strong library programs produce students that tend to earn better standardized test scores, yet the critical underfunding of public schools in Arizona has resulted in a severe shortage of certified school librarians in districts across the state. Proposition 208 will restore hundreds of millions of dollars annually to help fix Arizona’s teacher shortage, and specifically identifies the importance of school libraries and school librarians.
Judi Moreillon, Co-chair of the Teacher Librarian Division of AzLA, recognizes the power of school librarians and libraries to elevate literacy in the communities that need them most. “Strong school library programs have the biggest impact for students in the most vulnerable situations. Ensuring equitable access for all students, especially in low socioeconomic communities, builds literacy learning that lasts a lifetime,” she says. School library stakeholders can show their support by taking the pledge at EveryLibrary: www.Saveschoollibrarians.org/yeson208.
About the Arizona Library Association
The mission of the Arizona Library Association is to promote library service and librarianship in libraries of all types in the state of Arizona As the membership organization for librarians, library workers, trustees, and supporters across Arizona, AzLA develops statewide materials purchasing contracts, provide continuing education credits for school librarians, hosts regional forums to obtain statewide input to the association, and support a legislative agenda that ensures the growth of library services for all Arizonans. Find out more at https://www.azla.org/.
EveryLibrary is the only national political action committee for libraries. Since 2012, EveryLibrary has supported over 100 libraries on the ballot and helped secure over $1.8 billion in stable tax funding for libraries. Through their SaveSchoolLibrarians.org initiative, EveryLibrary has helped save hundreds of school librarian jobs from cuts in districts around the country. Find out more at http://everylibrary.org.