Mead School District Cutting Librarians to Close $1 M Budget Gap - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mead School District Cutting Librarians To Close $1 M Budget Gap

SPOKANE, Wash - Officials at the Mead School District are making some tough decisions about your kids' future. Like many districts, Mead is facing huge budget cuts. They're estimating they have to close a $1 million dollar budget gap and one plan to do that is by cutting back librarians.

Under the newly adopted proposal, the libraries at the district will remain open and the kids will still have access to all of the books but all 12 certified librarians will no longer we working in the libraries.

Instead, a para-educator or some other person will be "man" the libraries. As the school district explained, the librarians can fill teaching positions that are left open once other teachers retire or leave.

Rather than hire new teachers to fill those spots, school leaders said, the librarians can replace them. All librarians have teaching certificates.

According to Mead's Executive Director of Business Services, Wayne Leonard, this transition should save the district $660,000 and they don't have to let go any teachers.

So far, parents in the Mead School District had mixed feelings about the plan.

Parent Fred Houck said, "I hate to see the teaching kind of things cut in any fashion but at the same time they've got stuff to work through and as long as kids have access to the books and have someone that can point them in the right direction, intelligently, then that's my biggest concern."

To be clear, transferring librarians to teaching positions is only part of the budget process. School leaders also said they would cut from the building budget and others.

This is the fifth year in a row the district's been forced to make cuts and they said most of that is because of major education cuts in the state budget that trickling down into the local school budgets.

School leaders said this plan has been formally adopted but if they can come up with other creative ways to solve the budget problems then they may not have to transfer the librarians from the library to the classroom.

So far, this has been a really controversial issue on our website. If you want to weigh in, go to our KHQ Facebook page or search for "KHQ Local News" on Facebook.

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