All kinds of issues and questions are fielded here at the Scholastic Library. A lot of questions have been asked about the federal economic stimulus plan and its impact on education, and subsequently on Scholastic. So it's a topic we follow closely. Here are a few of the items we shared with the staff this week.
The stimulus funds have begun flowing to the states. With that, the states are faced with some issues. States vexed by stimulus challenges from Stateline.org looks at how states are preparing to comply with the data gathering requirements among other challenges. The story includes several charts as well as links to related articles.
Alabama legislature wraps up education budget from the Charleston Daily Mail is an example of several articles we saw this week on how the states are finishing their education budgets, taking into account the stimulus funding. “Senate budget committee Chairman Hank Sanders, D-Selma, said federal stimulus funds made the difference in having drastic cuts and layoffs because of the recession or saving jobs and programs.” Another example is Schools budget drops for the first time from the Idaho Statesman. For Idaho, stimulus funds helped but cutbacks were still necessary. “The total allocation is $48.7 million, 3.2 percent less than the public schools received last year. It is the first time since the state began keeping detailed records that the public schools will receive less money than they did the year before.” And in Arkansas, School districts eyeing ways to spend federal stimulus funds (Northwest Arkansas Times). Technology, after-school programs and professional development are just a few of the ideas being considered. Legislature spares Florida public schools from the worst, from the Miami Herald, reports on how the stimulus funding helped the state maintain education budgets. “Credit for the reprieve goes to more than $2 billion in stimulus money, which lawmakers infused into the pre-K-12 budget (though, technically the application is pending).”
And while many states are using the funding to prevent layoffs and cutbacks, a large chunk of the funding is earmarked for technology improvements. Stimulus aims to help close digital divide from eSchool News Online reports that some $7 billion dollars will be devoted to help schools and communities “expand broadband services to underserved areas, improve broadband access for public safety agencies, stimulate the economy, and create jobs.”
School Library Journal has scheduled a webcast for May 19 at 3:30 to discuss stimulus funding for libraries. Stimulate this Library! Accessing American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funding will provide school librarians with suggestions on how to bring funding to their libraries. And Capstone Publishers, a library market publisher, held a similar webcast according to Capstone teaches how to get stimulus funding (Publishers Weekly). “Librarians were encouraged to ‘gather the facts’ and were directed to studies documenting a connection between library investment and improved test scores.”
This is teacher appreciation week. And you can nominate your favorite teacher to attend the 2010 National Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy. The Scholastic Library does not provide endorsements. But we heard about this and thought some of our readers might want to check it out.
And just for fun. Back in the olden days, computers made a lot of noise. And some clever computer geek has put together this rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody using old computer equipment. Too young to have heard of Queen? You’ll never know what you missed. Enjoy.