A new program written into President Obama’s 2015 budget request includes professional development funding for school librarians, teachers and leaders who provide high-speed internet access to students. The Obama Administration requested that $200 million dollars be allocated to ConnectEDucators, a new initiative that will ensure that school professionals are well-prepared to use high-speed internet resources in a way that improves classroom instruction and student learning. The ConnectEDucators program is an extension of the Administration’s ConnectED initiative.
Roberto Rodriguez, special assistant to the President for Education Policy and the Domestic Policy Council, confirmed today that the Administration considers school libraries a vital component to student achievement. Rodriguez said that school librarians would qualify for professional development funds available from the ConnectEDucators program.
On a related note, President Obama’s budget requests funding support for school librarians through the Department of Education’s Race to the Top program. The Equity and Opportunity Program tasks the states and school districts in high poverty areas with providing ways to keep the best educators in their schools, and this would include school librarians.