Mike Klonsky: Showdown in Chicago Over Unstaffed School Library

Diane Ravitch's blog

Mike Klonsky tells the sad story of a school in Chicago that lost its librarian to budget cuts. Some parents want to staff the library with volunteers, but the union objects to replacing professionals with volunteers. The irony in this case is that the school is named for a Chicago billionaire.

“The state’s schools have been operating without a school budget for the past two years. Gov. Rauner has been holding the budget hostage, hoping to leverage his signature for a pound of flesh, meaning a cut in retiree pensions, the elimination of teacher collective-bargaining rights, and more privatization of school services.

“There are currently hundreds of Chicago public schools operating without properly-staffed libraries, school nurses, special-ed paras or school social workers. Librarians are vital to the functioning of any school. If wealthy, mainly-whte suburban schools did away with librarians, replacing them with untrained, unpaid volunteers, there would be a…

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