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Before Dallas ISD Releases Two New Budgets, a Plea for Trustees to Save 42 Librarians

School's out, but not for the Dallas Independent School District's trustees, who're meeting at this very moment (behind closed doors) before they look at two versions of the 2011-'12 budget -- what they're calling versions 5.1 and 6.0, which follow the iteration presented to the board on May 26 that projected $90 million in budget cuts and no further layoffs for the coming school year. Also on the board's agenda: an early look at TAKS results. We'll get to all of that as soon as the board comes back from its exec session.

First up, though, was a familiar face: Nan Dosker of the Dallas Association of School Librarians -- and my son's school's librarian. Dosker was there to protest the board's decision to cut 42 librarians from school campuses, per staffing formulas approved last month.

Right now, at least, the board has opted to go with one librarian at schools with more than 2,000 students, as opposed to two. And, till now, there has been one librarian on elementary school campuses with more than 250 students. The new formula says elementary schools with fewer than 500 students will only get a part-time librarian.

Dosker gave an impassioned speech begging the board to reconsider, insisting that its "decision takes away a campus professional who [directly] contributes to academic success." She asked the board to restore "42 positions to campuses that need their expertise as collaborators and educators" -- who are, as Dosker put it, "indispensable."

Then again, those staffing formulas could change when the numbers are released whenever the trustee emerge from their back room. I'll post as soon as they become available.


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