Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Youth librarian calls us to march with her

School closed June, 2010

Just when I was reeling from this "value added" chart for a teacher, showing what scores his students received on standardized tests last year, and published
in the LA Times with the teacher's name and his amazing rant, I got this righteous clarion call for literacy and our children. Check it out -- my PINK sister Des lays down why we would want to be in Wash DC on Oct 2 demanding equal education for all.

Politicians, public schools and public libraries

by Desiree Fairooz, Youth Services Librarian in Arlington, VA

As state after state chips away at our nation's public school programs and public libraries, especially those in communities already underserved I wonder what the future holds for our children. Do a simple google search for school or kindergarten funding cuts, and you'll see just how drastically our public education system is suffering. The National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University reports that across the country state pre-k programs are being cut by up to 50% this year (in Arizona). Libraries fare little better, and officials in the city of Camden, NJ, are talking about closing their entire library system altogether due to lack of funds. (

Politicians love to kiss babies, hug their mothers while on the campaign trail, bellowing pro-education and pro-library rhetoric. Yet back in their offices and on the Capitol floor our representatives quietly fasttrack those same communities' tax dollars to the bank executives in the form of bailouts and to the war profiteers in no-bid contracts.
For example, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) recently spoke at an ALA rally in DC and admitted to me right after his speech at the library rally that he indeed voted for the last war supplemental. Politicians know that once in office the public does not pay attention to their voting record.

I challenge teachers, librarians and other advocates for children to organize, mobilize and join us on October 2 in the One Nation rally and march in Washington, DC. On Saturday, October 2 we will come together with labor unions, peace advocates, students, civil rights leaders, and concerned Americans from all corners of the country to rally for jobs, education, and peace. There will also be a special march Saturday morning specifically for funding for education. Arrive by Friday or stay until Monday or Tuesday and march into your Senator's and Congresspeople's offices demanding an end to war funding, the bloated Pentagon budget, billionaire tax breaks, and demand our money back from those bank bailouts who gave their execs bonuses. Take off one day for kids and STAND UP AND SPEAK OUT while schools and libraries are still PUBLIC.

You can find out more about One Nation at and sign up to join me at

Desiree Fairooz is a Youth Services Librarian in Arlington, VA.

STATE PRE-K PROGRAM CUTS FY10 & PROPOSED CUTS FY11 Arizona 50% ($6,119,959) 100% ($6,119,959) California 0.40% ($1,755,600) Colorado 2.3% ($950,391) 3.5% ($2,565,500) Connecticut 5.8% ($4,187,275) Florida 1% ($3,672,000) Illinois 10% ($32,702,446) 15.9% ($48,431,400) Kansas (At-Risk Program) 6.8% ($1,356,767) 5.2% ($1,716,000) Kentucky 2% ($1,502,000) Louisiana (LA4) 7% ($5,499,000) 0.8% ($797,600) Massachusetts 27% ($17,474,398) Michigan 7.3% ($7,537,250) New Mexico 3% ($549,400) 10.4% ($2,007,200) New York 8% ($30,014,097) 3.5% ($14,493,500) North Carolina 3% ($5,114,157) 3% ($5,000,000) Ohio 33% ECE ($11,473,552) 100% ELI ($116,874,161) Pennsylvania (Pre-K Counts & state HdSt investments) 0.9% ($1,300,500) South Carolina (4K and CDEPP) 16% ($6,542,810) Washington 3% ($1,678,289) 19% ($10,431,000) Wisconsin (HdSt supplement) 3.5% ($252,438) National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers University, 2010

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Desiree Fairooz

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