Teacher-Librarians at EVERY SCHOOL SITE IN SWEETWATER were informed that their positions would close at the end of the school year in an attempt to remedy the budget due to district financial mismanagement. Please sign the petition today.
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Years of budget mismanagement has led to the Sweetwater school board voting to make cuts to ALL Teacher-Librarian positions districtwide. This option should never have been on the table. School libraries and the certificated Teacher-Librarians who run them are essential and they are vital to the school community. Teacher-Librarians are education, technology and literacy experts. Teacher-Librarians assist everyone on campus from students, to staff, administration, and the greater community. Teacher-Librarians help students safely navigate and verify information in an ever-increasing digital world. Teacher-Librarians open library classrooms early and close late. Who will do all of that work when they are gone? No one will. NOTHING can replace a certificated Teacher-Librarian in the library. However, Sweetwater will try to violate Ed Code 44868, which states that “Services provided by non-credentialed personnel shall not include those activities requiring possession of a valid Library Media Teacher Services Credential.” Without Teacher-Librarians the library doors will, effectively close and Teacher-Librarian led instructional services will end.
Sweetwater Union High School District is the largest secondary school district in the state, with 36,000+ students which services a disproportionately high number of low income, English Language Learners, and Special Education students. Sweetwater has mismanaged its finances repeatedly. Now, the school board is about to put the lives and futures of students in jeopardy by cutting all Teacher-Librarian Positions. Libraries are safe places for ALL students. Students come to the library all day to receive library services, have a quiet study space, and check out actual books. When Teacher-Librarians are cut from Sweetwater, students who are social-economically disadvantaged, living in book deserts, homeless, or in need, will have nowhere to go. Don’t be fooled by the latest edujargon or nonsense that students do not read or go to libraries anymore; this is simply and utterly false. The school libraries of today are more than just houses for books. They are the great equalizer of space and resources for students who have nothing at home. Without Teacher-Librarian staffing the school libraries, all of our students will lose the competitive edge to compete with those who have had everything handed to them. We owe it to our students and future generations to make sure this does NOT happen!
Please sign this petition to advocate for the students of Sweetwater. We have to fight for our students and their right to have an excellent, quality education, because the school board is not living up to its own mantra, “Putting Students First”. We have to speak up for their futures now, before it’s too late and the school board takes away their rights to intellectual freedoms and spaces to learn. We have to convince the school board to avoid the shortsighted error of eliminating Teacher-Librarians! A school library without a Teacher-Librarian is just a room with books, just like a classroom without a teacher is just a room with desks. All students deserve Teacher-Librarians and open libraries in their schools. Anything less than that would be subpar in a district that prides itself on “Putting Students First.” Let’s actually put students first, and convince the Sweetwater district to make cuts away from direct student services and their school libraries. Sign this petition to make your voice heard.