Today, Senator Harkin (D-IA) is introducing the “Keep Our Educators Working Act of 2010.” The bill would provide $23 million in funding to help school districts hire and retain educational professionals. Maryland would receive $417,136,000. School librarians can receive some of the funding, but, as written, the bill does not specifically mention librarians, which usually results in no benefits for librarians.
The American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office is asking everyone to contact their Senators with the following requests:
- Ask him/her to include libraries in the bill.
- Ask him/her to co-sponsor the bill. To add a Senator’s name as a co-sponsor, he/she should email Mark Laisch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may call their offices (Mikulski – 202-224-4654; Cardin – 202-224-4524) or use Capwiz to send a message. (Currently there is no Capwiz alert available, but you may still send a message using Capwiz.) Please note that Senator Mikulski serves on the Appropriations Committee, where this bill will go.
Check out this one-page summary for a more detailed explanation to help you understand the bill. A few additional details also may be found in the District Dispatch posting. If a Senator is interested, there is a draft of amendments that includes proposed language for the bill from the ALA Washington Office.