HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.R. NO.

187

TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2014

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 


HOUSE RESOLUTION

 

 

requesting the department of education to report on the status of school librarian positions and requesting the board of education to adopt a weighted student formula that reserves funding for at least one school librarian position at each public school.

 

 

 


†††† WHEREAS, numerous studies have demonstrated that even when economic, educational, and other community variables are taken into consideration, students from schools with credentialed librarians, adequate support staff, resource rich school libraries, and open access outperform students who do not have those resources; and

 

†††† WHEREAS, the amount of free voluntary reading a student does both inside and outside of school leads to increased growth in comprehension, vocabulary, and acquisition of information; and

 

WHEREAS, the school library is the primary, accessible source for students to obtain a variety of reading material to meet leisure time reading and classroom needs; and

 

††††††††††††††† WHEREAS, a full time qualified school librarian makes a critical difference in boosting the reading and writing scores of the most vulnerable students; and†

 

††††††††††††††† WHEREAS, achievement test scores show that the majority of public school students in Hawaii are reading below grade level; and

 

†††† WHEREAS, the distribution of funding for the hiring of a school librarian and the purchase of school library materials is at the discretion of each principal, resulting in inequities between schools and often the inability to provide up-to-date resources to support the curriculum and provide new reading material of interest to students; and

 

†††† WHEREAS, there are only 172 certified librarians for 255 public schools; and

 

†††† WHEREAS, the Department of Education states that a Master of Library Science Degree (M.L.S.) is required for the position of librarian; and

 

†††† WHEREAS, many public schools in the Department of Education do not have librarians or are filling school librarian positions with candidates who do not have the requisite professional library training; and

 

WHEREAS, the Department of Education has not communicated that there is a shortage of qualified school librarians and is not actively recruiting or hiring them; and

 

†††† WHEREAS, some principals, even those with a large school population, must consider reducing a librarianís position to half time or eliminating positions completely because of their perceived lack of funding under the Weighted Student Formula to fill staff positions; now, therefore

 

†††† BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-seventh Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2014, that the Department of Education is requested to report to the Legislature on the status of school librarian positions at each public school; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature specifically requests that the report include a detailed list of

 

(1)† Whether or not each public school has a library;

 

(2)† Staffing levels at each library including the number of professional M.L.S. librarians, teacher librarians, and assigned clerical staff;†

 

(3) Budgets for library materials; and

 

(4)† Official student populations for 2013-2014 by school; and

†††† BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Education is requested to submit the report, including findings, recommendations, and any proposed legislation, to each member of the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2015; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Education and its appointed Committee on Weights is requested to adopt a Weighted Student Formula that reserves a portion of the funding for the hiring of at least one or more qualified school librarians for each public school, or to set aside such funding outside of the Weighted Student Formula to ensure that students from every school community have full time access to a credentialed M.L.S. school librarian; and

 

†††† BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Education is requested to establish a base amount that must be allocated to each school library to provide basic library materials to its students, followed by an additional per pupil allocation to each library; and

 

†††† BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Chairperson of the Board of Education and the Superintendent of the Department of Education.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

Report Title:†

DOE; School Librarians; Weighted Student Formula; Report