Yet Another Measure Threatens the Common School Fund

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Thursday, October 20, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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Senate Bill 95, a school reform bill, threatens the Common School Fund by eliminating the current 25 percent limit on the amount of CSF money that may be used to purchase school library computers and related software.The full Senate is scheduled to vote on this bill at 11:00 a.m. today, Thursday, October 20.Please contact your senator right away and request an amendment to SB-95 that would remove the provisions in the bill that relate to the Common School Fund.  Thank you for your help!Points to raise:The common school fund is the major source of school library resources, both print and electronic. These resources are critical to a quality education for our students to prepare them for work and college.It is important to uphold the constitutional intent of the Common School Fund for its intended purposes. School libraries in Wisconsin continue to be a cornerstone of a strong educational system. Direct them to...

Common School Fund Threatened: Contact Legislators!

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Friday, October 14, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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Legislation related to nursing home regulation, introducedas companion bills AB-302 and SB-212, will reduce funding available to theschool libraries, if passed. The Wisconsin Educational Media & TechnologyAssociation (WEMTA) says the legislation could cost the Common School Fund(CSF) at least $1.5 million per year because it diverts fines and forfeitureson nursing homes from the CSF. The Assembly Committee on Aging and Long Term Care will vote on AB-302 onThursday, October 20, at 9:00 a.m. in room 400 Northeast of the State Capitol.The Senate Committee will meet that same date and time in room 330 Southwest.If the bills are approved by committee, they go straight tothe full Assembly and Senate.It is very important to reach out to legislatorsin both the Assembly and Senate, and if you are represented by someone on thecommittees who vote on October 20, your call is essential.Assembly Committee members are as follows: RepresentativesDan Knodl (R-Germantown, District 24), Warren Petryk (R-Elva,...

WLA and SRLAAW Support Public Library District Enabling Legislation

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Monday, October 10, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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With much yet to be done, WLA and the System and Resource AdministratorsAssociation of Wisconsin (SRLAAW) have been working the introduction of on enabling legislation toauthorize districts as an option for public library governanceand funding in Wisconsin.There arecurrently four options for public library organization and governance understate law; public library districts would be an alternative choice. In verybasic terms, a public library districtis defined as an independent taxing authority that is authorized by state lawto establish and operate a public library. According to statistics collected by the Institute for Museum andLibrary Services, nearly 15% of U.S. public libraries are organized asdistricts.As are the fourcurrent methods of public library governance, the formation of a public librarydistrict is amatter of local choice.The WLA Board andSRLAAW has endorsed these recommendations and encouraged the public librarycommunity to review them carefully in order to gain a clear understanding ofwhat is being proposed. Paul Nelson, chair of WLA’s legislativecommittee,...

Funding for school libraries included in LHHS subcommittee's appropriations bill

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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The Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee marked up (voted on) its FY 2012 bill Tuesday afternoon on at 10-8 party-line vote. This funding bill, which is scheduled to be marked up in the full Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday afternoon, contains federal support for school libraries.The report language of this bill sets aside $30 million for national non-profit organizations or school libraries in high-need areas. Furthermore, at least 50 percent of this $30 million must be used for school libraries.This restoration of funding for school libraries comes as a huge victory since the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program was zero-funded in FY 2011; however, the fight is still not over. School libraries fared better than many other programs, but the next stage of the legislative process will prove critical in securing this funding for FY2012. Please continue to put pressure on your senators and representatives...
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Message to Read to Lead Task Force: Literacy Role of Libraries is Critical

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Friday, July 29, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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Recently, the WLA and the Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association crafted a memo to  Governor Walker's Read to Lead Task Force, in order to highlight the important role that libraries play in improving literacy. A portion of that memo appears below, or you can read the entire memo:As statewide associations of librarians, we are excited to see the Governor convene the Read to Lead Task Force. We thank him and all of you for your efforts thus far.  As we are sure you know, school and public librarians provide effective literacy programs to children on a daily basis. We believe it would be valuable for the task force to consider the perspective of librarians as you conduct your work. This document illustrates ways Wisconsin children benefit from interactions with these professionals through early literacy programming, summer reading programming and curriculum-related programming. Please let us know if our associations can be...