Resolved, That a special commission is hereby established to make an investigation and study the Massachusetts Public School Library programs. The commission shall consist of 2 members of the Senate; 1 of whom shall be the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Education or their designee, and 1 of whom shall be a member of the minority party who shall be appointed by the minority leader; provided, however, that 1 member of the Senate shall be designated as Co-chair of the Commission; 2 members of the House of Representatives: 1 of whom shall be the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education or their designee, and 1 of whom shall be a member of the minority party who shall be appointed by the minority leader; provided, however, that 1 member of the House of Representatives shall be designated as Co-chair of the Commission; the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, or their designee; the president of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, or their designee; the president of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, or their designee; a member of either the Massachusetts Teachers Association or the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers; 2 Executive Board members of the Massachusetts School Library Association; 1 member each from the Massachusetts Library Association, the Massachusetts Library System, and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners; and 2 persons to be appointed by the governor:1 from the business community, and 1 from a charter school.
The Co-Chairs shall convene the organizational session of the commission not later than 60 days after the effective date of this Resolve.
The special commission shall make an investigation to determine the status of Massachusetts public school library programs, including but not limited to: 1) an investigation of how many schools in each district have a school library and a credentialed school librarian and in how many schools are these full-time positions; 2) an assessment of the ratio of students per credentialed school librarian; 3) an assessment of what other support staff work in the school library program; 4) an investigation of how school libraries are scheduled; 5) an investigation of the hours school libraries are open each week for students and faculty to use; 6) an investigation of how many hours each week school librarians provide direct library-related instruction to students; 7) an assessment of how many computers are in school libraries for students to access; 8) an investigation of the size and age of the collection in each school library, and the extent of electronic and digital materials available for students to access; 9) an investigation of current funding per student for school library materials and services; 10) any other matters that the special commission considers relevant to the fulfillment of its mission and purpose.
The special commission may conduct public hearings to gather information, including the sponsorship of statewide or regional conferences involving educators, students or the public at large. The Massachusetts Department of Education shall provide staff and other resources as the commission and those agencies consider appropriate. The special commission will generate a report at the end of the commission’s work that creates a long-range plan for Massachusetts’ school library programs that may include the adoption of guidelines for school library facilities, budget, staffing, collection development, and curriculum standards for school library programs. The special commission shall make its final report and recommendations, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry those recommendations into effect, by filing the same with the Joint Committee on Education not later than December 31, 2014. The special commission may make such interim reports, as it considers appropriate.
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