Looming budget cuts could impact some Dallas ISD libraries

Dozens of schools across DISD could lose their librarians

DALLAS -- Nearly a dozen Dallas schools could lose their full-time librarians. Those employees could be repositioned as a result of budget cuts and declining enrollment.

Across social media, residents are sharing the list of the 11 middle school and high school campus that are in jeopardy of losing full-time librarian for the 2017-2018 school year.

Those campuses include:

A Maceo Smith New Tech High School

Lincoln High School

Roosevelt High School

Cary Middle School

Holmes Middle School

Rusk Middle School

Boude Storey Middle School

Zumwalt Middle School

Longfellow Middle School

Edison Learning Center

Most of the campuses are in Southern Dallas.

“I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I have today, if it wasn't for the library,” said Keisha Humphrey who runs a non-profit called Anointed Ones Angels.

Humphrey has concerns about a school district eliminating certified librarians from any campus. She wonders whether aides have the adequate training to help students with research, navigating book catalogs properly, and meeting children’s literary needs and interests.

“It’s going to be an uproar,” Humphrey said. “Even though they have that aide, you have to have that one person that can handle it all.”

According to Dallas ISD leaders, the initial proposal to eliminate trained librarians from the selected campuses had to do with expected budget cuts and continuously declining enrollment.

Stephanie Elizalde, Chief of School Leadership, said staffing cuts are based on data. Cuts are being made at Dallas ISD’s central office and on campuses.

Elizalde explained, ”What we‘ve done in this time frame was look at campuses that had a reduced number of students. At the elementaries we made no changes.”

The school district plans to keep one certified librarian at each secondary campus that has a student population of 750 or greater. Those schools with fewer students will have a full-time media assistant running the library.

After hearing feedback from librarians and the community, Elizalde says she and her staff went back to the drawing board on Thursday and began looking at options.

She said, “I am going to be able to share one librarian among each of those 11…every two schools, will be able to have one librarian assigned to them.”

The Dallas ISD school board is expected to discuss the staffing changed, budget cuts, and demands during its meeting next week. A large number of school librarians is expected to attend.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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