We are thrilled to see that school librarians were included in the Educators for America Act when it was introduced in Congress on December 9, 2021 (117th). Ensuring that school librarians remain in the definition of an “educator” is critically important to the future of school libraries. You can help make sure that Congress understands the importance of supporting the training and professional development of school librarians by sending a message to your elected officials today.
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The primary purpose of the Educators for America Act (HR 6205 / S 3360) is to “build the capacity of educator preparation programs to ensure all students have access to profession-ready educators, recruit new and diverse educators into the profession, invest in partnerships between higher education, state and local partners, and support innovation to meet the changing needs of students”. Including school librarians in the definition of “educator” will help ensure that the next generation of certified, qualified, and empowered school librarians are in place to help all our students succeed.
The Educators for America Act (HR 6205 / S 3360) would do several important things to improve the quality of teacher and educator training programs. It authorizes $500 million annually to support educator preparation programs and partnerships. These include partnerships that address the training and preparation needs of school librarians alongside other specialized instructional support personnel. One of the biggest challenges facing school districts is finding a diverse pool of candidates who want to become school librarians, teachers, counselors, and educators. That’s why the bill’s focus on supporting the “recruitment, preparation, and retention of populations that are underrepresented in the field of education, including teachers of color, first-generation college students, and teachers with disabilities” is so important.
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We are asking for two big things. One is that school librarians must remain in the definitions of the bill. The other is that if Congress is looking for ways to turn around failing schools and support successful ones, we know one of the most effective roles in every school is that of a certified school librarian. If Congress wants to be serious about enabling every student to succeed, then keeping school librarians in the Educators for America Act is essential. Please send your own message to your Congressional delegation today.