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Plan to cut library managers surprises board members

Last week, word started getting out that District 150 was looking at possibly saving money by getting rid of nearly all library managers:

The recommendation calls for the elimination of 23 library positions, said Deb Chavez, president of the Local 6099 support staff and cafeteria union. It would affect nearly all of the primary and middle schools in the district.

Not affected are the four high schools, the two Edison-operated schools and Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Center, where the positions are either certified teachers or set up differently than the rest of the district, Hinton said.

Parents started writing to their school board members protesting this latest plan as ill-advised. Here’s an example of one of the letters that was sent:

Dear [board member],

We have a kindergartner at Whittier Primary School. We are very pleased with our experience at the school and with the staff. Our son loves school and has enjoyed learning. He has specifically enjoyed learning how to read and experiencing the Accelerated Reader program with our school librarian Mrs. Burtsfield. Hence, the proposal of eliminating school library managers saddens my family and me.

The importance of reading and learning how to utilize the library system is a value tool that will follow these children through life. School library programs and resources play a vital role in the development of information-literate students. Research studies continue to show that an active school library program makes a significant difference to student learning outcomes.

In closing, we urge you to please vote against the proposal of eliminating library managers at the primary and middle schools. This measure would be detrimental to our children.

Then parents started getting responses from board members. Several board members said they learned of the proposal like everyone else — from the media. They expressed surprise, and more than a few said they were opposed to such a move. Now there’s speculation that the administration might abandon the proposal. While I would welcome such an outcome, I’ll believe it when I see it (or don’t see it, in this case).

The question I’ve heard over and over is this: Where’s the proposal for deep cuts to the administration? Why are administrator jobs being protected, while those with direct student contact are being heaviest hit with these cost-saving proposals?

65 comments to Plan to cut library managers surprises board members

  • wife out of work soon

    wife had a email from her principal this am about library mgrs not being cut after all and the decision being reversed. great, now if only she were one of those and not a prep teacher at a closing school!

  • bamcdaniel

    There are many of us that are passionate about the school closings and misappropriation of funds BUT there are many in the community that just don’t get how this will affect them. One of those groups is the West Bluff Council. After many months of trying to get them to understand how detrimental these closings and the budget woes (tax/bond issues, i.e.) are important enough to be vocal I have been allowed to make a presentation about the budget proposals, current cuts, proposed cuts and how it affects homeowners.

    The meeting is open to the public and starts at 7 in the basement of student center of BU. I would really like some, if not all, of you to be there, as you have different expertise than I do on this subject. Please come help me get them involved in the mess we call our public school system.

  • EmergePeoria

    Rumor has it the librarians are safe.

  • Sharon Crews

    Emerge, yes, according to “wife out of work soon,” that seems to be the case. I guess this is one time that the board members definitely didn’t like leaning about an administrative decision from the newspaper instead of from Ken Hinton.

  • wife out of work soon

    pjstar now confirms what this mornings email to teachers said.


    Is it safe? Picture this… Ken Hinton is Laurence Olivier. The public is Dustin Hoffman….

  • teachpia

    It’s only going to get more and more interesting … the BOE wants to CUT teacher’s salaries by 5% next year and also has a list of 35 takeaways … including prep teachers. That’s right – there goes PE, Music, Art, Tech classes, etc. for ALL the children in Peoria. They also want us to work 10 extra hours each week (not the kids – only the teachers) for 5% LESS money. What a popular idea that will be – are they nuts?

    Sunday night’s union meeting ought to be very interesting. Watch for an “intent to strike” vote …

    I would guess most teachers would be ok with a pay freeze for a year due to current economic conditions, but this is extreme and shows no respect for teachers. It’s gonna get ugly out there!

  • EmergePeoria

    Without PE, Music, Art and Tech classes, there will be time to spend in the library reading books.

  • kcdad

    And that is the solution… strike.

    How creative these leaders in education are.

  • Frustrated with Unethical Behavior

    Are the administrators on Wisconsin also willing to take a 5% pay cut?

  • Sharon Crews

    Kcdad: I was never big on striking myself–but what are the effective alternatives that you would suggest?

  • kcdad

    What comes out of a strike? The admin will “buy off” the teachers with a pay raise or shorter hours and everything will go on as before… That’s history.

    I can’t keep telling you what the solution is because you don’t like to hear it. The administration at Wisconsin Ave. and the school board that rubber stamps everything they do have to eliminated from the equation. The system has to be recreated.

  • Sharon Crews

    Kcdad: I can’t argue for or against your proposed solution because I don’t know how your untried system would work. Continually throwing idealistic solutions isn’t going to help[. Your solution just won’t be considered by those who make the decisions and where are all the rebels that will overthrow the present system?

  • Sharon Crews

    Because I had heard that only a limited number of high school students could attend 150 high school summer school this summer (because of lack of money), I asked for the following information about high school summer school from 1999 -2008: amount charged for tuition, number of students enrolled, total revenue from tuition, and the amount paid for teachers’ salaries. I was curious as to why there was a lack of money since I thought summer school had always been self-funded with tuition paying the teachers’ salaries.
    I just received the information with a note that the records from 1999-2004 could not be located—they asked prior employees where the information could be, and they looked at Ricketts and the DLC, but couldn’t find anything. Am I expecting too much—shouldn’t record “keeping” (literally) be better than that for longer than four years? Also, doesn’t it raise the question as to where records are kept (and for how long) for activity funds from individual schools, such as Lindbergh?
    Sorry–I didn’t want to go to far back to pick up a post more related to 150 financial issues.

  • kcdad

    “where are all the rebels” where are they ever? Hiding in the shadows trying not to be noticed. When things get bad enough they charge out to fight the tyrants. Until then they protect whatever they have to protect.

    Do you really not think that there are teachers out there that want to make a difference and not just fill a slot in a budget?

    Wouldn’t it be nice to spend 40 years in a career and actually feel like you contributed to society?
    “Really, I have seen and met different teachers in my life but it was first time to have a great teacher like you. I really enjoyed every moment of the class and have learned so many things; not just about Sociology, but about life in general. Thank you so much being a great teacher.”
    We all have these kind of students, don’t we? We all have a box of these kind of notes, letters and cards from our students in our closet somewhere. Why is that? Why do we cherish these rare expressions of gratitude and success? It is because they are exceptions. Wouldn’t it be WONDERFUL to never get another one because ALL of the students feel this way?

    Teachers MUST stand up against the administration of public indoctrination. Parents must join the teachers and insist that students be free to discover learning, not be forced to become victims of the job training system we now have.

    I have 54 students signed up for two summer school classes starting next month… in one class I have about 30 classroom hours and in the other I have about 35. A regular semester class is about 40 classroom hours. They aren’t going to have a chance to learn anything. They will not have much of a chance to get anything out of the class except a grade. Too bad. I asked the President of the College about it… (paraphrasing…”well, as long as we have a certain number of students enrolled, there isn’t any other criteria for accreditation”.) HUH? Excuse me Sir, I wasn’t talking about number of students, I was talking about instruction time. “Ahem, er… right. That is what I meant. As long as there is minimum of students enrolled in the class, the number of classroom hours doesn’t matter…” wtf? Why meet at all then? (oh yeah… who would pay tuition to study on one’s own? Besides doctoral candidates, I mean. HA HA NV) I am seriously thinking about not having one class meet at all… assigning all the same stuff and see if there is any difference between classes when it comes to the final exam…