OLA Position Statement: House Bill 3029
To ensure that Oklahoma students succeed in education and in life, the Oklahoma Library Association reaffirms its long-standing position on the importance of having certified masters level school librarians in every school as an essential component to providing quality education in the state of Oklahoma.
-- Adopted by the OLA Executive Board, March 19, 2010
What is HB3029?
HB3029 by Rep. Chris Benge allows school districts to be exempt from certain state standards without fear of any penalty, through June 30, 2012. Specifically mentioned are:
- Library media programs - schools will not be required to have certified school librarians, library staffing based on school enrollment, nor a library budget for materials
- Class size - schools will not be required to meet class size
- Early childhood programs - schools will not be required to meet class size or staffing
- Textbook committees - schools will not be required to purchase textbooks
- Textbook funds - schools will not be required to use textbook money for texts, but rather, that money can be used for any purpose related to the support and maintenance of the district as determined by that district's school board.
Where is the bill now?
HB3029 passed the House on 3/3/10 by a unanimous vote (94-0). It was introduced in the Senate on 3/3/10 by Senator Halligan. The Senate assigned the bill to the Senate Appropriations Committee where it was amended on 3/24/10. Having passed the subcommittee, the next step will be for consideration and vote by the whole Senate. Contact your Senator as soon as possible to oppose the bill. Check back periodically for progress on this bill.
What can you do?
1. Elected officials cannot ignore overwhelming grassroots efforts, so contact your legislators, both House and Senate. For contact information to your legislator, visit http://www.lsb.state.ok.us. "Find Your Legislators" is located at the bottom of the middle column of links.
2. Explain that this bill eliminates state standards that directly impact student achievement. (See Talking Points below.)
3. Encourage parents, teachers, PTO/PTA groups, Friends of Libraries members, and neighbors to contact legislators in opposition of this bill.
4. Contact legislators by: making phone calls, sending letters and e-mails, going to the capitol to visit legislators in person, invite legislators to your library to see wonderful things happening in the school.
Talking Points for House Bill 3029