TUCSON, Ariz. — During a community forum, Wednesday night, Parents and teachers addressed the tight budget issues in TUSD.
"The work of a school librarian is now more important than ever," said Judi Moreillon, former TUSD librarian.
With the support of Moreillon, a restoration project is in the beginning stages to employ four certified librarians at four middle schools, Valencia, Secrist, Pistor and Magee. With more than 25% of Arizona's children living in poverty, former teachers say some TUSD students do not have the access to the literacy resources they need outside the classroom.
"Every other subject that a student will study depends on their ability to comprehend what they read, comprehension is what makes the difference," Moreillon explained.
According to Moreillon at the beginning of the 2002 School year, TUSD had 105 schools with 96 state certified librarians, now more than a decade and half later the number of librarians has dwindled to only 13. A number educators say has to change.
"Librarians do a lot to pass the book beyond the book, beyond the text, beyond the hard copy," said Kristen Bury school board liaison.
For Morellion, the needs to increase students reading proficiency and ability is the number one priority.
Organizers say the next step is to build a conversation on the topic. Then they hope the board will propose and approve the four librarian positions in June, when the board adopts the next school year's budget.