Sample Letter to Editor

RE: 65% Solution is no solution at all

The "65% Solution" dictates that school districts spend a fixed percentage of education funds directly "in the classroom." Although this may, at first, sound like a reasonable solution to improving funding for education without raising taxes, a closer look is required.

In most states, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) categories will determine which expenditures are considered "in the classroom." According to NCES, athletic coaches and the prom are "in the classroom" expenditures while school librarians and library resources that directly impact academics are not considered "in the classroom" expenses.

Research studies in 15 states have shown that student achievement, particularly in reading, increases when professional school librarians collaborate with classroom teachers for instruction.

Aside from their school library, many school children and youth in our state have no other source for free reading materials they can take home. Studies by Dr. Stephen Krashen have repeatedly shown the role of independent reading in improving reading proficiency and motivation.

In school libraries, both students and teachers receive support for learning and teaching projects and assignments from school librarians who are experts in locating, evaluating and using information and resources and are educators who teach these critical skills.

How can [your state] voters and leaders say they are for improving public education and not be for school libraries? The aim of the 65% Solution is to impose one-size-fits-all regulations on education spending. If this initiative wins, clearly students and teachers will lose. The 65% Solution is no solution at all.

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