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Chicago Students Protest Cuts to School Library

Chicago Students Protest Budget Crisis' Assault on the School Library

Protests from students at the multi-school DuSable Campus in Chicago over the lay-off of the school's beloved librarian had a sweet ending after an anonymous donor provided funding to allow for Sara Sayigh to keep her job.

The protests began last week and students organized a “read-in” to support Sayigh after they learned budget troubles were forcing Sayigh out of a job and the fate of the library she ran was “questionable,” according to The Washington Post.

"Students said that the library and Sayigh were important to their academic work as well as to extra-curricular activities, and they demanded in a petition that she be reinstated and the library remain open,” the Post said.

While an anonymous donor was moved by the students’ call-to-action this time, budget troubles are a sad reality for all Chicago Public Schools as leaders try to fix the governing unfair funding system that could also lead to a teacher strike by May 2016.

And though Sayigh has her job back and the library will remain open, it will still be a challenge to keep it running after budget cuts could potentially force volunteers to take over.

The Post noted that other Chicago schools who had tried a similar technique were eventually forced to close their libraries, still.

Shockingly, out of the 46 schools in Chicago with a majority African American student population, only three have a full-time librarian, with many Chicago librarians receiving the axe due to budget issues.

" Sayigh noted that many other Chicago public schools don’t have librarians, and students who have been to school without one don’t understand their importance. Her students, she said, 'knew better.’”

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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