Left behind in reading

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How can we attain the No Child Left Behind goal when the state’s budget (SB1113) this year provides 70 cents per child for school library books and materials? The budget has gone from $28.89 per student in 1999 to 70 cents per student in 2004. As a school library media teacher, I have been in students’ homes where there were no books, magazines, computers, or encyclopedias. What can we buy for 70 cents that will help these students succeed in school? Apparently our government decision makers do not buy books or they would know that one book costs an average of $25. This cut fosters illiteracy. Is this what we want, a generation of non-readers? Isn’t there a better way to balance the state budget?

Ann McKechnie

Library Media Teacher Santa Monica High School