Landmark victory for school libraries and students today!

Francis W.Students gathered around computer. Parker School (Chicago, IL)

Photo credit: Francis W. Parker School (Chicago, IL).

Does your voice matter? Yes, it does!! It’s official and, incredibly, it’s virtually UNANIMOUS. Thanks in large part to the enthusiastic response to our call to action yesterday, and a boost from mega-author James Patterson, the U.S. Senate today voted 98 – 0 in favor of the bi-partisan Reed-Cochran Amendment to S. 1177, the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015! This amendment will explicitly make effective school library programs part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Prior to the vote, both Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Thad Cochran (R-MS) spoke eloquently in support of this amendment and the importance of school libraries. Their work has been invaluable in garnering attention for the important role that an effective school library program plays in a student’s education.

BUT . . . while this is an important “win”, our work is not quite finished. Stay tuned as the bill moves forward! Next steps for this bill will be: continued discussion on the Senate floor, a Senate vote, and then — once the House has finished work on its own H.R. 5 — the House and Senate will appoint a conference committee to resolve any disagreements and arrive at a bill that both can agree on.
GO school libraries!!!

About Jessica McGilvray

Jessica McGilvray is a former member of the Washington Office government relations team.

14 comments

  1. So glad to see this happening. Now it would be great if music in the schools would be required also.
    Music is the first intelligence and the last to go. It opens the mind to reading. Listen to beat of music,
    goes with reading cadence.

  2. Celebrating for school libraries this afternoon. THANKS for letting us know this great news.

  3. I will believe it when there is money allocated — in the 1960s it was $9 a student, so it would have to be over $40 per student to be meaningful.

  4. What about all the elementary libraries run by highly trained paras all over the country? Sadly someone dropped the ball with wording of being run by “certified librarians”. Maybe this is a move to drive out all the classified librarians?

  5. Ironically they’re looking at devices and not books in the photo….

  6. Is there any way to hear Reed and Cochran’s testimonies? On video anywhere? That would be so encouraging?

    Thanks, Sara

  7. Jessica McGilvray

    Sara you can watch the Senate floor activity on S.1177 here http://www.c-span.org/video/?327008-1/us-senate-debate-k12-education. Sen. Jack Reed begins speaking around 1:38.

    Enjoy!

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