Please contact Senators Mikulski and Cardin and ask them to sign onto a “Dear Appropriator” letter that is circulating around the Senate. This letter will be sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee and will be asking the committee to support the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (ILTSL) program in its FY2011 budget. The deadline for signing on is April 14th.
For more information, check out the Capwiz Action Alert–go to Capwiz and click on the Take Action button below “Call your senators now to support library funding!” The Action Alert includes instructions for contacting the Senators by phone, as well as the ability to send a letter electronically via Capwiz.
The Senate Capital Subcommittee rejected the cut to the library capital grant program proposed by the Department of Legislative Services and maintained grant funding for the full $5 million. However, the subcommittee did adopt language restricting grants to no more than $800,000 and 50% of the project. Overall, this is considered a victory. The House will still consider the proposed cut.
The American Library Association (ALA) filed comments with the House Education & Labor Committee asking for school librarians to be included in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). For more details on their requests, including a link to the letter, see the District Dispatch posting.
Several new or updated documents have been posted:
According to BroadbandUSA.gov, the deadline for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) Comprehensive Community Infrastructure (CCI) applications has been extended until 10pm EDT on Friday, March 26th.
The latest version of CCI Guidance has also been posted. Go to the BroadbandUSA Information Library, scroll down to the section on BTOP and click on CCI Guidance.
The Maryland Library Association and its Legislative Panel, along with other stakeholders like the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) and the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) are watching carefully the amendment passed in the Senate’s Budget and Tax Committee that would begin the process of passing the costs of the teacher pensions back to the counties.
While this amendment passed in the Senate committee, it still has to be voted on, both on the Senate floor and then in the House. Current wisdom is that any attempt to pass the teacher pensions back to the counties will fail this year because of its controversial nature in an election year, but expect it back next year. We will continue to monitor the situation. Check this blog for any future updates.
For a little more detail about the amendment, check out the Gazette newspaper online article entitled “State Senate budget panel approves teacher pension shift.”
On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the National Broadband Plan. The full text of the National Broadband Plan is available online.
The American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office continues to analyze and share comments on the National Broadband Plan via the District Dispatch. Recent postings include: