Monday, August 06, 2007

Urgent Action Needed on SKILLs Act

On Thursday, August 2, Representatives Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) sent a Dear Colleague letter asking Members of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 2864, The Strengthening Kids' Interest in Learning and Libraries or SKILLs Act.

The SKILLs Act:

* Requires school districts, to the extent feasible, to ensure that every
school within the district employs at least one highly qualified school
library media specialist in each school library;

* Defines highly qualified school library media specialists as those who have a bachelor's degree and have obtained full state certification as a school library media specialist or passed the state teacher licensing examination, with state certification in library media in such state;

* Establishes as a state goal that there be at least one highly qualified school library media specialist in every public school no later than the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year;

* Broadens the focus of training, professional development, and recruitment activities to include school library media specialists;

* Ensures that funds will serve elementary, middle, and high school students; and

* Requires books and materials to be appropriate for and engage the interest of students in all grade levels and students with special learning needs, including English language learners.

Urgent Action needed: This legislation is critical to the future of school library media specialists. Please contact your Representative immediately and ask them to co-sponsor the SKILLs Act.

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