Sample PTA/Parent Group Resolution

Recognition of the need for highly effective school library media programs, staffed with certified school library media specialists, instructing students in a standards based Information Literacy curriculum (which includes digital, visual, media, textual, and technological literacy).

Whereas: After the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), President Obama stated, “education, the key to economic opportunity, is a civil right. With this bill, we reaffirm that fundamental American ideal that every child, regardless of race, income, background, the zip code where they live, deserves the chance to make out of their lives what they will.”; and

Whereas: Title I of ESSA states that the local educational agency may include in its plan how the local educational agency will assist schools in developing effective school library programs to provide students an opportunity to develop digital literacy skills and improve academic achievement; and

Whereas: The Innovative Approaches to Literacy section of the ESSA legislation provides funding for developing and enhancing effective school library programs, which may include providing professional development for school librarians, and funding for books, and up-to-date materials to high need schools; and

Whereas: The Student Support and Enrichment Grants section of ESSA legislation states that funding will be available for literacy education programs, including financial literacy programs and environmental literacy programs, telecommunications and technology education programs, and expanded library service hours; and

Whereas: New Jersey’s College and University Librarians in their statement, The Value and Importance of Highly Effective School Library Programs, stated that they see that many college freshmen are poorly prepared to conduct college-level research, requiring professors and librarians to spend more time than they should on basic skills. They live with this cause and effect, frustrated in knowing that many of these students could hit the college ground running with proper training beforehand; and

Whereas: The New Jersey Library Association has stated that school libraries are a safe learning environment where all students have equal and equitable access to learning, support, and information for personal and educational purposes; and

Whereas: Business leaders see a significant deficiency among recently hired high school graduates in their ability to solve problems and apply the critical-thinking skills they need in a knowledge-based economy where a talented workforce with communication and critical-thinking skills is necessary for organizations and the U.S. to be successful; and

Whereas: The National Council of Teachers of English recognize that resource-rich school libraries and certified school library media specialists play key roles in promoting information literacy. These professional librarians help students acquire critical thinking skills and increase their global awareness; and

Whereas: Educational research demonstrates that the services of school library media specialists and supported collections enhance student achievement. Several research studies show that when classroom teachers collaborate with full-time, credentialed school library media specialists to design, implement, and assess instruction, student achievement increases significantly; and

Whereas: The National Educational Technology Standards require students to have the ability to choose appropriate tools and information resources to support research and solve real world problems that include the ability to evaluate accuracy, relevance and appropriateness of print, non-print, copyrighted materials, and online library resources. We recognize that certified school library media specialists are critical instructional partners that will enable our children to engage meaningfully with a wide variety of information, supporting the use and integration of electronic information resources throughout the curriculum; and

Whereas: The International Literacy Association is calling for increased funding for libraries. In many schools, libraries now have few books for each child, and the condition of the books and the staffing of school libraries is deteriorating. This has serious implications for children’s literacy; and

Whereas: School libraries build their collections in direct connection to classroom content and we recognize that many of our children do not have the necessary support for accessing public libraries for selecting reading materials and/or resources for succeeding on their core curricular projects. We also recognize that the Digital Divide still exists, and many of our children still do not have access to electronic resources (the Internet and educational databases) at home; and

Whereas: A recent report from the New Jersey Association of School Librarians found 75% of students have no idea how to locate articles and resources they need for their research, 60% don’t verify the accuracy or reliability of the information they find, and 44% do not know how to integrate knowledge from different sources; and

Whereas: There has been a 20% decrease in school library media specialists in New Jersey schools since 2008 and many school districts lack a curriculum for Information Literacy; now therefore be it

Resolved: That [insert School District name] PTA urges County PTAs, NJPTA, National PTA, NJDOE, United States DOE, local and state governments and the federal government to make an increased investment in funding highly effective school library programs, staffed with certified school librarians instructing students in a standards based Information Literacy curriculum, accessible to all children.

SamplePTAResolution (Word Version)