Outside Section 236
Data Current as of: 10/17/2014
There shall be a special commission to investigate and study public school library programs. The commission shall consist of: 2 members of the house of representatives, 1 of whom shall be the house chair of the joint committee on education or a designee, who shall serve as co-chair, and 1 of whom shall be a member of the minority party appointed by the minority leader; 2 members of the senate, 1 of whom shall be the senate chair of the joint committee on education or a designee, who shall serve as co-chair, and 1 of whom shall be a member of the minority party appointed by the minority leader; the commissioner of elementary and secondary education or a designee; the president of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, Inc. or a designee; the president of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, Inc. or a designee; 2 executive board members of the Massachusetts School Library Association, Inc.; 2 members chosen by the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts Professional Development Institute, a non-profit corporation; 1 member each from the Massachusetts Library Association, the Massachusetts Library System, Inc. and the board of library commissioners; and 3 persons to be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be from the business community, 1 of whom shall be from a charter school and 1 of whom shall be chosen from a list of 2 members recommended by the Massachusetts Teachers Association. The co-chairs shall convene the organizational session of the commission not later than 60 days after the effective date of this act.
The special commission shall study the public school library programs in the commonwealth. In its investigation and study, the commission shall include, but not be limited to, determining: (i) how school library programs can be further developed to ensure that the programs reflect changing technology; (ii) how many schools in each district have a school library and a full-time or part-time credentialed school librarian; (iii) the ratio of students per credentialed school librarian; (iv) what other support staff work in the school library program; (v) the hours that school libraries are open each week for students and faculty use; (vi) how many hours each week school librarians provide direct library-related instruction to students; (vii) the number of available computers in school libraries; (viii) the size and age of the collection in each school library and the extent to which electronic and digital materials are available for student access; (ix) the extent to which electronic and digital materials are available for remote student access; and (x) current funding per student for school library materials and services.
The special commission may conduct public hearings to gather information, including the sponsorship of statewide or regional conferences involving educators, students and the public. The department of education may provide staff and other resources to the commission as the department considers appropriate. The special commission's report shall include long-range plans for public school library programs to ensure that the programs best serve the students. The plans may include guidelines for school library facilities, budget, staffing, collection development and curriculum standards for school library programs. The commission shall file its final report and recommendations, if any, and drafts of legislation necessary to implement the recommendations with the joint committee on education not later than December 31, 2014.