SB 2100 has come to our attention and requires immediate action. Authored by Senator John Ford (District 289) in the Senate and Representative Tad Jones (District 9) in the House, SB 2100 directs the State Board of Education to establish a School District Deregulation Pilot Program in a maximum of ten school districts that apply and meet the criteria as established. This legislation may impact school libraries and certified library media specialists and needs further analysis and review. At this time, the bill has passed both the Senate and House with amendments. It is now back in the Senate with amendments of concern and may be acted upon by Thursday, May 1st.
The full text and history of this bill can be found at the following URL: http://webserveR1.lsb.state.ok.us/WebBillStatus/main.html (Select Basic Search Form, type in the bill number and select Retrieve)
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR STATE SENATORS AND REQUEST THAT SB 2100 NOT BE ACCEPTED AS AMENDED AND INSTEAD BE SENT TO CONFERENCE COMMITTEE FOR FULL ANALYSIS AND REVIEW.
So what does that mean? Well from my less that expert view - part of this legislation is in reaction to problems select schools in Tulsa are having and people are desepartely trying to fix some problems up in T-town. And perhaps another part is related to people wanting to get rid of some of the peskiness of teacher groups and their meddling ways. And ultimately it's people thinking they are doing what's best for their kids.
I see danger in this legislation - in that Charter schools are not necessarily held to the same school media standards as public schools. And if a charter school, or for that matter charter school district, decides not to support school media centers and certified media specialists then the burden will fall on other libraries - academic and public to meet the research needs of those students.
And from what I see (and I may have missed it) there is not mechanism in this bill that will provide additional funding for libraries that would serve a charter school district that chooses to get rid of their school media center and certified media specialists. So do those kids then not have access to reliable online databases, encyclopedias, videos, etc that will give them a firm foundation to succeed in college?
Mind you I may be completely off on this and may be over thinking it -- and if someone with better understanding can correct me I would greatly appreciate it!