Today House and Senate negotiators released the final language of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Conference Report. The House is currently expected to vote on the bill later this week, and the Senate will follow soon after.
In response to today’s announcement, American Association of School Librarians (AASL) President Leslie Preddy and American Library Association (ALA) President Sari Feldman released the following joint statement:
“The AASL and ALA are thrilled that the members of the House and Senate Conference Committee recognized the importance of an effective school library program and understood the invaluable role school library programs play in providing students with the skills they need to analyze, form, and communicate ideas in compelling ways.
“There is no doubt that investing in school libraries is an investment in our nation’s future, as there is a correlation between strong library programs and student achievement. School libraries are learning hubs where students become motivated readers and actively engage with technologies and the latest information resources, preparing them to succeed in our global, competitive economy and the ever-evolving workplace.
“School librarians are instructional leaders and essential partners with all teachers, collaborating to meet diverse needs, strengthen student learning, and facilitate deeper understanding of print and digital materials.
“While the Committee has recognized the value of school libraries by adding language on school libraries to the Every Student Succeeds Act, the process of securing funding for school library programs has just begun. We need to ensure that the Conference Report comes up for a vote. The AASL and the ALA ask the library community, parents, and caregivers to take a moment to contact your Representative to ask for an immediate vote on the ESSA Conference Report and every member of Congress’ support.”
For additional information on how you can support our nation’s school libraries please visit the ALA’s Action Alert page.