Model Letter in Support of SB 390

Model Letter in Support of SB 390

We need your action, right now!  School Librarianship has been waiting a long time for this legislative moment, and that breakthrough time has come!   California Senator Mendoza has crafted a bill that requires the Model School Library Standards to be explicitly considered as essential learning content within the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) that guides all school districts in making local decisions about funding.  The bill is SB390, and it has passed the House and Senate with impressive majorities. It is now on the way to the governor’s desk!

We have come a long way to make this happen, and we need your voice!  If you understand the essential nature of school library programs for student centered learning, and you want to see the great state of California come out of last place in supporting school library programs,  then GRAB YOUR PEN and get ready to write!

Below is a template to help you write your letter (typed or handwritten) to the governor.  The template shows you how to set up your letter and how to address Governor Brown.

A couple of things to remember:

  • Be positive, hopeful, enthusiastic, and above all authentic.

  • Use our own voice. Stay away from the temptation to copy and paste.

  • Provide personal examples and how they impact the students.

  • Use one of the options provided below and of course one of your own.

  • Follow the special instructions for each the sections.

  • We need you to get your letter in the mail no later than September 11th.

SECTION ONE: Use the format below to address your letter to the governor.  It is set up in the proper format.

September __, 2017

Hon. Jerry Brown                                            SB: 390 (Mendoza)

Governor                                                        Enrollment

State of California

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814

SECTION TWO: Use the below sentence frame to start your letter.   If you are a teacher, principal, superintendent, library media technician, parent, student, etc… please modify the “I am …” section to the proper language.  Fill in the proper response within the parenthesis areas.

Dear Governor Brown:

I am a (role that you play in your district)  in the (name of school district)  school district in (add city) and am writing in support of SB 390.  I am writing to urge you to sign the bill because (add your brief reason).

SB 390 would amend EC section 52060 to add the Model School Library Standards (MSLS) to the other standards that districts should review as a part of the development of their Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP).

As a (fully credentialed teacher librarian or library paraprofessional), I support SB 390 for several important reasons.

SECTION THREE: Choose one or two arguments listed below AND/OR add your own argument.  Feel free to add any specific elements from your own local experiences.  Please avoid the temptation to cut and paste from the list below.  Each letter needs to be unique and have your voice, so please put it in your own words as much as possible.

#1 The addition of the Model School Library Standards will offer a road map for all LEAs to better understand the value and academic content knowledge that libraries can bring to a school and its students.  The Model School Library Standards are overarching standards that cut across many content areas.

# 2 While California’s adopted standards utilize critical thinking processes that build skills for producing effective research, there is little expectation that classroom teachers will actually teach these skills.  These are the skills of a credentialed librarian that works daily with their classroom-based partners.   This, again, is a strong reason to integrate the Model School Library Standards into LCAP planning.

#3 Each district is required to adopt Local Control and Accountability Plans.  However, because of the scarcity of credentialed teacher librarians, there is inadequate knowledge at the school site and district administrative levels to appropriately integrate the Model School Library Standards, which have been adopted by the State Board of Education, into the 8 state priorities that provide a foundation for the district’s LCAP plan.  Including the Model School Library Standards into the LCAP decision making process will better address these critical skills.

#4 The Model School Library Standards are California‘s first set of Media and Information Literacy standards that apply to all content areas, including the student’s own personal interests.  They include identification of the skills and knowledge essential for students to be information literate. In today’s world, that term means having the skills to effectively access, evaluate, use, and integrate information into their lives. The new, rigorous school library standards are designed to help students prepare for success in the hyper-competitive global economy that is powered by information and knowledge.

#5 The California Common Core State Standards call for media and research skills to be embedded in all content areas.  Research and media skills blended into the standards, as a whole prepare students for college, workforce training, and life in a technological society.  Students need the ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, and summarize information and ideas.  Students also need to be able to conduct original research to answer questions or solve problems and to analyze and create a high volume and extensive range of print and non-print texts in media forms old and new. The need to conduct research and to produce and consume media is embedded into every aspect of today’s curriculum.  This is why it is so important for the Model School Library Standards to be called out in the statute rather than left to the individual review in each district’s dashboard.

#6 The MSLS provides learning objectives addressing the safe, ethical, and legal use of information for all grade levels.  That is why the Director of Privacy Education and Policy for the California Attorney General supports the school library standards for students as a matter of privacy protection education and student safety.

#7 Paraprofessional option

As a library paraprofessional, I see the importance of students knowing safe and reliable ways to conduct research and pursue their own interests. I work in the library with (grades or ages of) students.  Part of my job description includes assisting students with resources. And through my experience, I see that our students need to be directly taught the standards in the MSLS.  The standards help students learn and develop skills that will last a lifetime.

SECTION FOUR: Please add your own personal touch!   This is where you get to share your last words of influence.   Make sure you print and sign the document before sending to the address above.

Again I strongly support including the school library standards into the discussions on the local LCAP.  Doing so will be a great opportunity for a more robust discussion on where specific library and information literacy efforts can make a difference for all students.  That is the promise of the LCFF.

Sincerely,

Name & school

Additional Resources:

Senator Mendoza Letter to State Superintendent

Draft Letter from Glen Warren

School Library Audit Summary Fact Page

Additional Information about SB 390:

What does SB 390 do?  It is essential that we all understand why this bill is so crucial to our school libraries, and more importantly, our students!  The bill amends the language for the LCAP.   Here are a couple of breathtaking examples:

SECTION 1.

Section 52060 of the Education Code is amended to read:

(d) All of the following are state priorities:

(1) The degree to which the teachers of the school district are appropriately assigned in accordance with Section 44258.9, and fully credentialed in the subject areas, and, for the pupils they are teaching, every pupil in the school district has sufficient access to the standards-aligned instructional materials as determined pursuant to Section 60119, and school facilities are maintained in good repair, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 17002.

(2) Implementation of the academic content and performance standards and the Model School Library Standards for California Public Schools  adopted by the state board, including how the programs and services will enable English learners to access the common core academic content standards adopted pursuant to Section 60605.8 and the English language development standards adopted pursuant to former Section 60811.3, as that section read on June 30, 2013, or Section 60811.4, for purposes of gaining academic content knowledge and English language proficiency.

(3) Parental involvement, including efforts the school district makes to seek parent input in making decisions for the school district and each individual school site, and including how the school district will promote parental participation in programs for unduplicated pupils and individuals with exceptional needs.

AND

SEC. 2.

Section 52066 of the Education Code is amended to read:

(d) All of the following are state priorities:

(1) The degree to which the teachers in the schools or programs operated by the county superintendent of schools are appropriately assigned in accordance with Section 44258.9 and fully credentialed in the subject areas, and, for the pupils they are teaching, every pupil in the schools or programs operated by the county superintendent of schools has sufficient access to the standards-aligned instructional materials as determined pursuant to Section 60119, and school facilities are maintained in good repair as specified in subdivision (d) of Section 17002.

(2) Implementation of the academic content and performance standards and the Model School Library Standards for California Public Schools  adopted by the state board, including how the programs and services will enable English learners to access the common core academic content standards adopted pursuant to Section 60605.8 and the English language development standards adopted pursuant to Section 60811.3 for purposes of gaining academic content knowledge and English language proficiency.

(3) Parental involvement, including efforts the county superintendent of schools makes to seek parent input in making decisions for each individual schoolsite and program operated by a county superintendent of schools, and including how the county superintendent of schools will promote parental participation in programs for unduplicated pupils and individuals with exceptional needs.

FULL TEXT

The Official Word document:

09/01/17

From committee: Do pass. (Ayes 11. Noes 5.) (September 1).

Glen Warren
CSLA – VP Government Relations