Status of HB 908 “Flexibility Bill”

HB 908 was taken off the Senate Education & Youth Committee agenda today.  The bill was not presented, nor was there any testimony on the bill as it stalled in committee. In related news, the House and Senate have agreed to adjourn until Monday, March 8th to work on the budget.  

This break now gives us two additional weeks to work on HB 908 in the Senate.
Continue to tell your funding stories and email the following senators.

Contact information for the Senate committee members concerning HB 908:

Weber, Dan (Chair) dan.weber@senate.ga.gov
Moody, Dan dan.moody@senate.ga.gov
Thomas, Don don.thomas@senate.ga.gov

Balfour, Don don.balfour@senate.ga.gov
Buckner, Gail gail.buckner@senate.ga.gov
Butterworth, Jim Jim.butterworth@senate.ga.gov

Fort, Vincent vincent.fort@senate.ga.gov
Jackson, Bill bill.jackson@senate.ga.gov
James, Donzella donzella.james@senate.ga.gov

Sims, Freddie freddie.sims@senate.ga.gov
Tate, Horacena horacena.tate@senate.ga.gov
Williams, Tommie tommie@tommiewilliams.com

Suggeted Talking Points:

I urge you to vote against HB 908 which grants “blanket flexibility” in many important areas
OR modify it to exclude school libraries
OR at the least shorten the length of time school systems would be authorized this “blanket flexibility.”

Expenditure controls for school libraries serve an important function.
They assure that funding makes it to the school level where education is
delivered instead of the bureaucratic level.

A. Include reasons why you oppose HB 908 in your email.
Here are some suggestions:

(If you are a parent with children in the school system, tell them
as a concerned parent)

1. Though we know Georgia’s financial picture is bleak, we know children
will suffer if local school administrators use their ability to take
advantage of waiving these code sections that were put in place years ago
to assure system and school accountability and student achievement.

2. Isn’t equity amongst ALL Georgia students what we are working
towards? Why should one student have access to more resources than another
student simply because of their zip code or economic status? Local control
is only as good as the locals in control.

3. Expenditure controls are in place to assure equity throughout the
state and to ensure that funding makes it to the school level where
education is being delivered rather than the bureaucratic level.

4. Media expenditure controls have an important purpose – to ensure that
funding is provided for print, non-print, periodicals, online databases,
supplies, and equipment that are available to the entire school and are
critical to the support student performance. These materials are housed in
and circulated through the library media center for use by the entire
learning community of the school.

5. The school library is a great equalizer in terms of supporting student
achievement. The student that is not reading on grade level in the
classroom can still be successful using the media center’s resources which
provide for varied reading levels and needs.

6. The GA Performance Standards require that each student read 25 books
in grades 4 – 12. The most economical way to support this standard is to
buy multiple copies of durable books that are available to circulate to
the entire school population. If our expenditure controls are eliminated,
we will not have the funding to support this standard.

B. Include a Library Story from your own Library (examples):

– The demographics changed dramatically in my high school this year. We
now have a sharp increase of students that do not speak English and we
need continued funding to support our changing needs as we are having to
buy books written at a beginning reading level, so these students can
begin to have success with the English language.

– In order to adhere to the state standard of every child needs to read
25 books a year in middle school, funds are needed to keep our fiction and
non-fiction books current (students do judge a book by the cover!). Most
of the books can be used for both a reading program and _____

– The students are always asking for new books related to anything covered
in the media (movies, series, news events, books on the New York Times
bestseller list, etc.) Like adults, they want what is current and they
know what is current!
The first day of school, I had students in the library asking to see the
new books. They were asking if we had the new Dan Brown book, the Maximum
Ride series (James Patterson), Push (from the movie Precious), New Moon,
the Rick Riordan series, Anthony Horowitz series etc.
They are also asking for current SAT, ACT, Georgia High School Graduation
test books, current End of Course study guides, and Advance Placement
study guides in all subject areas, current career books. The students are
constantly researching social issues and those issues change yearly.

– Georgia Library Media Association

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Posted on February 18, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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