A student aide helps another student
use the Media Center after school Tuesday.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget plan threatens a ten percent cut to education is affecting public schools all over California. As a result, the budget for the James Logan Media Center has been frozen, leaving librarians and students to work with what they have, for now.
Teachers are feeling especially hesitant, as they are unable to imagine what a four billion dollar proposed budget cut will do to California public schools, classrooms, and students, according to ABC 7 News. “The teachers union claims [that the cut] equates to cutting about $20,000 out of every classroom all over the state.”
Aside from the addition of brand new computers at the start of the school year and widespread construction that has been occurring throughout Logan for the past few years, James Logan is currently experiencing its dose of governmental cutbacks.
The library usually receives a $30,000 budget for a whole school year, and the money is divided among the various needs of the library, including subscription databases, magazine subscriptions, and new books and videos. Approximately $6600 is spent on subscription databases such as SIRS, $1,000 is spent on magazine subscriptions such as TIME magazine, and the rest is used for the purchase of new books and videos.
It is early February and two thirds of the $30,000 budget has already been consumed. The budget freeze has caused the librarians to cancel orders of new books and graphic novels.
“Of course I’m disappointed; the library is already under stocked as it is,” said Carla Colburn, the Logan library media teacher.
According to the California School Library Association, the Logan library is currently in the “at risk” sector, with only 8‑10 books per student, compared to the adequate amount of 25 or more books per student.
“If this continues, there will be no new books in our library that could reflect the new generation. Students will be less interested in reading if they can’t relate to the stories,” said Colburn.
With a tight budget and no other programs to cut, the outlook looks bleak for the Logan media center. When asked if she had any advice for the governor, Colburn replied, “We just need to rethink our priorities and have a forward thinking budget, not one that is crisis driven.”