An open lettertothe Chaffey Joint Union High School District:
As a recent retiree, I am enjoying being away from the struggles and loss of morale the district is suffering. However, it has come to my attention that the libraries on all the high school campuses in the district are coming under the budget ax. I am sure you have heard all the arguments for saving the libraries and their programs.
My suggestion is to let the campus substitutes go. Though it is convenient to call on the campus sub on short notice, the fact that she/he is often available on short notice proves that she/he is not very busy. The sub is doing work for the principal's secretary, waiting to be called upon. We didn't enjoy this luxury in past years.
In an emergency, a teacher would fill in until a regular sub could be called. This practice should be reinstated to save thesalaries of the subs-in-waiting who are wasting time and money on every campus.
Perhaps teachers would be willing to substitute in emergencies without compensation if it meant saving libraries and their programs. In any case, there should be a rich supply of highly qualified, certificated daily subs on the list sine so many teachers have retired or been laid off. Use them as needed at a lower cost than you are currently paying the full-time, under-used campus subs.
During the rich years, the district agreed to many generous concessions that I didn't enjoy in the lean years of the late '70s when I was hired. Campus subs and paying teachers to substitute are two of them. These cuts will not hurt students. Closing thelibraries will.
Pamela M. Bowen Temecula
Editor's note: The writer is a retired English teacher who worked in the Chaffey, Montclair and Etiwanda high schools.
Reprinted from Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, February 13, 2010 Save libraries (Click for original link)
A single sentence in the article "School days reduced" (Feb. 9) caught my attention: "One proposed item is the reduction of teacher librarians, Bertucci said."
If librarians are cut from the high schools of the Chaffey Joint Unified High School District, it would be a terrible blow to the education of our young people.
Libraries benefit every single student on campus, and libraries need certificated personnel to administer programs, to train students in research techniques, and to supervise and aid students as they work on independent projects.
The librarians in the Chaffey district are forward-thinking people who go far beyond their job requirements. They stay abreast of changes in research techniques so that they can guide students (and teachers!) in navigating new, ever-changing technologies.
And let's not forget books. Librarians are experts at helping students find books for pleasure and books that may fill gaps in their education. Using a modern library is a skill that will last a lifetime.
Why the budget committee would even consider reducing librarians baffles me.
As a retired English teacher (Montclair High School and Etiwanda High School), I know the value of librarians.
If I were a parent of a current or future CJUHSD student, I would be alarmed by this potential disaster.
Kathyrn Wilkens Upland
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