The Montana Library Association is asking for your help contacting the Negotiated Rules Making Committee and the state Board of Public Education to help ensure that certified school librarians and school counselors remain in every school and district across the state.
The Negotiated Rules Making Committee is considering a massive and unnecessary change to "Chapter 55", the rules about the ratio of students to school librarians and to school counselors. The current ratio has been in place for over 30 years and is working. There is no reason for this change to be considered other than a backdoor cut to key school positions across the state. If the Superintendent's unwise changes to Chapter 55 ratios are enacted, there will be academic and social losses for our students.
The next meetings of the Negotiated Rules Making Committee are scheduled for June 16 and June 17 at the State Capitol. If you can attend in person, please do.
NRMC Committee Meetings
June 16, 2022 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
June 17, 2022 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Montana State Capitol Building - Room 102
1301 E 6th Ave, Helena, MT 59601
If you are concerned like we are, please send your Public Comment through this form today.
Many states currently require school library media specialists in their schools and most use student enrollment to determine the number of library media specialists the schools employ. Montana has been a leader in ensuring equity for students in even the smallest schools with the current ratio.
The link between strong school library programs and student achievement is well documented. Over the past 20 years, numerous studies have shown that elementary schools with at least one full-time certified teacher-librarian performed better on state tests. In a 2010 study conducted in Colorado, more children scored "proficient" or "advanced" in reading in schools with a full-time, credentialed librarian than those without. In an article published in 2015, the authors reviewed a multitude of studies that consistently show that students who have a full-time librarian in their schools perform better on their reading and writing scores than those who don’t have one. Another study, "Pennsylvania School Libraries Pay Off: Investments in Student Achievement and Academic Standards", revealed that students with full-time librarians in their schools are almost three times as likely to have “advanced” writing scores than students without full-time librarians.
Read the important update from MLA President Angela Archuleta in advance of the NRMC Meetings on June 16 and 17.
The Montana Library Association is fighting this change alongside the Montana School Counselors Association and the Montana Federation of Public Employees in a growing coalition. EveryLibrary is proud to support MLA's campaign as a partner. We are opposing this change to Chapter 55 ratios because learning will suffer. This is a critically important moment for school librarians and the students they serve. Please help send a message that certified school librarians are vital to student success. From standardized tests to individualized learning, Montana education thrives when school librarians are in place to serve.
Please use the form on this page to send your public comment.
Every $10 we raise helps us reach 1,000 more Americans like you who can help us support school libraries.