Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Duval County poised to cut most media specialists

As the school board seems bound and determined to keep nine percent, or three times what they are required to, in budget reserves, you just knew something was going to be cut. Well friends it looks like it is going to be the county’s media specialists.

The scuttlebutt is principals have a choice whether to get the Testing Coordinator/Curriculum teacher position -- or keep their Media Specialists. Based on the heavy emphasis this state puts on learning-by-testing, guess which one principals are picking?

Education Matters also received the following e-mail:

Latest news on media specialists in the budget

I hate to be the bearer of more bad news, but my principal told me on Friday that all high school media specialists have been cut from the budget. She said that Title I schools will have the option of paying for the position out of their Title I funds. All of this news is such a shocking and drastic change from the plan to have a full time media specialist in every school.

I believe these cuts stem from the School Board workshop which was held last Tuesday. I heard on the news last week that the Board wants a larger reserve fund (an additional 3-5%) than is required by state law (3%). I am sure that cuts must be made in order to achieve the larger reserve fund. I don't think that the timing of the budget workshop last Tuesday and the news about cuts to our positions is a coincidence. There is another Board budget workshop scheduled for this Thursday so the budget is still in flux.

Mind you above was from a district media specialist not from a member of the district staff but if it is true it certainly is troubling and is the opposite of what the district has been saying. I also wonder how the people in Jacksonville will feel about the district sitting on 50 million dollars and cutting librarians.

For a district with a reading problem, getting rid of the county’s media specialists seems incredibly short sited.