Montana Retained the Ratios

There's great news from our colleagues at the Montana Library Association: The Board of Public Education voted to retain the ratios of school librarians, guidance counselors, and admin staff to students across Montana schools. The proposal before the BPE to make the change was driven more by politics than what was best for the students. This campaign to retain the rations by MLA, the school counselors association, and MFPE, the state union, will ensure that students and their families have the right staffing in every school. 

Over the summer, school librarians, counselors, and union brought their individual campaigns together to create the Retain Educational Excellence in Montana coalition. EveryLibrary, through its Save School Librarians digital advocacy platform initially helped MLA with its campaign and then transitioned to supporting the whole coalition and its goals. The campaign to retain the ratios was successful because the coalition members came together to activate their members and to reach out across Montana to empower parents and other educators to support good policy.

Read more about the decision by the Board of Public Education to Retain the Ratios

The Board of Public Education voted 6 to 1 to retain the ratio of school librarians to students. They voted unanimously to keep the current ratio of 400 to 1 school counselors as well. 

According to the Missoulian:

"Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen recommended eliminating state-mandated ratios for those positions in an effort to emphasize local control with accreditation standards, which raised concerns among many education stakeholders.

More than 1,200 public comments were submitted urging the board to retain the current ratios for counselors. Another 1,000 wrote in support of staffing ratios for school librarians, and about 200 public comments were sent in concerning principals and superintendents."

These ratios are critically important to the quality of education in every Montana school. School librarians support individual students and the curriculum as a whole. Counselors are engaged with students and families in moments of transition and crisis. And every school needs qualified administrators dedicated to that unique learning community.

EverLibrary supports our partners at State Library Associations on important campaigns to protect or extend the role of school librarians in the education ecosystem. We can only do this work with the support of our donors. Please consider making a donation today to support our unique and measurable work.