Support Georgia’s School Libraries: Say NO to HB 278

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Used Under a Creative Common License: http://www.flickr.com/photos/adobemac/294078052/

Right now a little piece of legislation known as HB 278 ( http://www.legis.ga.gov/legis/2009_10/sum/hb278.htm )  threatens the health  of Georgia’s school libraries.  Why is HB 278 potentially detrimental?  The GLMA page provides a succinct explanation:

“Expenditure Controls and Funding for Georgia’s School Libraries”

Our main legislative issue for 2009 is expenditure controls. Governor Perdue is proposing legislation that would temporarily waive media center expenditure controls until June 30, 2010. This legislation would mean that school systems could redirect any unspent library media money for this school year as well as state funding for school libraries until fiscal year 2010 to other areas leaving school libraries with reduced or little funding. GLMA opposes this legislation and asks school librarians and parents to contact their legislators to explain how this legislation would hurt school libraries and students’ access to library books and technology.

From Governor Sonny Perdue:

“In January 2009, I will introduce as part of my legislative package temporary waivers of the expenditure controls found in OCGA §§ 20-2-167 (site-based direct instruction, media center, and staff development controls) and 20-2-184.1 (additional days of instruction controls). The legislation would make the waivers effective July 1, 2008 and would continue in force until June 30, 2010.”

Please look at the following listing of House and Senate Appropriations Education Subcommittee members. We need everyone to email the following committee members. If you live in their district, PLEASE let them know that you are their constituent and oppose this legislation. Provide a brief, but polite email giving an example of why library funding is important to your students (tell your library story).

The House Appropriations Education Subcommittee members are as follows:

Rep. Edward Lindsey (R), Chair – Atlanta; edward.lindsey@house.ga.gov
Rep. Terry England (R), Secretary – Auburn; englandhomeport2@alltel.net
Rep. Amos Amerson (R) – Dahlonega; amos.amerson@house.ga.gov
Rep. Amy Carter (D) – Valdosta; amy.carter@house.ga.gov
Rep. David Casas (R) – Lilburn; david.casas@house.ga.gov
Rep. Mike Keown (R) – Coolidge; mkfnbc@rose.net
Rep. Jan Jones (R) – Alpharetta; jan.jones@house.ga.gov
Rep. Howard Maxwell (R) – Dallas; howard.maxwell@house.ga.gov
Rep. Jay Neal (R) – LaFayette; P 404.656.0152 jay.neal@house.ga.gov
Rep. DuBose Porter (D) – Dublin; P 404.656.5058; F 404-656-0114 dubose.porter@house.ga.gov

The Senate Appropriations Education Subcommittee members are as follows:

Sen. Dan Moody (R), Chair – Alpharetta; dan.moody@senate.ga.gov
Sen. Horacena Tate (D), Vice Chair – Atlanta; horacena.tate@senate.ga.gov
Sen. John Bulloch (R) – Ochlocknee; john.bulloch@senate.ga.gov
Sen. Jack Murphy (R) – Cumming; jack.murphy@senate.ga.gov
Sen. Tommie Williams (R), Senate President Pro Tempore – Lyons; tommie@tommiewilliams.com

Contact these committee members (it is now in the Senate) and your own reps (go to http://sos.georgia.gov/misc/districts.htm )  to let them know you support funding for Georgia’s school libraries and that you oppose HB 278.

I also encourage you to read GLMA President Susan Grigsby’s speech to our legislators:  http://glma.wordpress.com/2009/03/12/presidents-message-march/ .   She does a terrific job outlining our current situation and why school libraries matter (not that you don’t already know!).

Thank you,
Buffy Hamilton
Teacher-Librarian
The Unquiet Library

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