Thursday, March 31, 2011

2 Letters: District Letter: 85 Teacher-Librarians Laid Off

First of 2 posts with letter texts:

Following is a letter from Kathleen Sheppard, Teacher-Librarian at Taft High School in Los Angeles, re layoffs of 85 Teacher-Librarians:

Dear Parents, Teachers, Staff and Community members,

Strong School Libraries Build Strong Students! Our students need strong school libraries.

As of the February 15, 2011 LAUSD Board decision, 85 Teacher Librarians have received reduction in force notices issued by March 15, 2011. LAUSD has already closed 13 middle school and 156 elementary school libraries. Your voices make a big difference in rescinding that board action!

School sites may be able to purchase through Title 1 funding a Teacher Librarian position. However, many schools will not have funding creating a lack of equity to educational resources across the district for our students.

Teacher Librarians are teachers of essential skills-research, cyber safety, digital literacy. We teach the Model School Library Standards: “School Library Standards for Students’ incorporate information literacy skills in which students learn to access, evaluate, use and integrate information and ideas found in print, media and digital resources enabling them to function in a knowledge-based economy and technologically-oriented society.”

Our students need strong school libraries in order to become informed citizens, who are ethical users of information and ideas, digitally literate, good readers and lifelong learners prepared for college and careers in the 21st century. Teacher Librarian positions must be centrally funded by the District.

What can you do?

1. Contact through e-mail, FAX and mail both the Superintendent, incoming Superintendent and School Board Members listed below. A sample letter has been emailed to you to use or write your own. [NOTE: Will be posted next.]

2. Speak at an upcoming LAUSD Board meeting. Contact me directly,

3. Join the guestbook at the California Campaign for Strong School Libraries website at

4. Contact your local elected officials ask request that the tax extensions appear on the June ballot! Call your legislator and tell them to let the people vote.

5. Request that the board RESCIND the decision to layoff personnel that affects the classroom.

Thank you! Your voice and that of LAUSD students make a difference.

Kathleen Sheppard
Teacher Librarian
Taft High School
5461 Winnetka Avenue
Woodland Hills, CA 91364

Ramon C. Cortines
Board of Education
Superintendent of Schools
333 S. Beaudry Ave., 24th Floor
Office of the Superintendent
Los Angeles, CA 90017
333 S. Beaudry Ave., 24th Floor
Tel: 213.241.6389
Los Angeles, CA 90017
FAX: 213.241.8953 or 213.481.9023
Tel: 213.241.7000
FAX: 213.241.8442 and

1. Ms. Marguerite LaMotte

2. Ms. Monica Garcia

3. Ms. Tamar Galatzan

4. Mr. Steve Zimmer

5. Ms. Yolie Flores

6. Ms. Nury Martinez

7. Mr. Richard Vladovic

John E. Deasy
Deputy Superintendent of Schools (Incoming Superintendent)
Office of the Superintendent
333 S. Beaudry Ave., 24th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Tel: 213.241.7000
FAX: 213.241.8442

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