1- Become informed. Become informed about the stimulus package and what funding and visibility opportunities are available. Think BIG. Money is going to school superintendents. You need a LOUD VOICE. Here are some pots of money:
- $53.5 BILLION in state stabilization funding. This can be used for school libraries, such as materials budget and positions. NOTE: The state of Illinois chose to use 100% of their share for education.
- $13 BILLION for Title I schools. Over two years.
- $650 Million for NCLB EETT (Education Technology) grants for Fall 2009. This is primarily for middle schools.
- Title I -- learn the estimated allocation for your district. Learn how much is for schoolwide vs specific students. focus on library resources to support these students, implement research-based programs, and include parent involvement.
- IDEA programs. Identify decision makers (principals, district library and curriculum directors) and influencers (superintendents, school board members). Be proactive -- how can your library goals meet the goals of decision makers?
4- Make a Plan. Your plan must demonstrate value and have no reoccurring costs. (Caution: funding staff is a reoccurring cost, so focus on other costs.)
- Set a goal. Be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely). Use budget estimates such as $20/book average. Reinforce the statement that your proposal has a positive impact on student achievement.
- Make your Pitch. Practice. Set up a specific appointment with your principal. Consider leave-behinds. Be positive. Follow-up.
NOW is the time to ACT. You need to act LOCALLY. Read up on the stimulus dollars and the guidelines from ALA, Capstone Press, and others. You need to create a proposal for your specific school or districtwide library program. No one else will do this for you (unless you have or create a library or Friends of the Library team).
Go for it! - Jackie Siminitus
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