That a special commission shall be established to make an investigation and study relative to the 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 a designee who shall be co-chair of the commission and 1 of whom shall be a member of the minority party who shall be appointed by the minority leader; 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 be co-chair of the commission and 1 of whom shall be a member of the minority party who shall be appointed by the minority leader; the commissioner of elementary and secondary education or a designee; the president of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents or a designee; the president of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees or a designee; 2 executive board members of the Massachusetts School Library Association; 1 member each from the Massachusetts Library Association, the Massachusetts Library System 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 chosen by the Massachusetts Teachers Association and 2 members chosen by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.
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 study the public school library programs in the commonwealth and the best way to serve the needs of students. 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 and best serve the students; (ii) how many schools in each district have a school library and a credentialed school librarian and in how many schools is the librarian a full-time position; (iii) the ratio of students per credentialed school librarian; (iv) what other support staff work in the school library program; (v) how employees are scheduled to work in school libraries; (vi) the hours school libraries are open each week for students and faculty to use; (vii) how many hours each week school librarians provide direct library-related instruction to students; (viii) the number of computers in school libraries for students to access; (ix) the size and age of the collection in each school library and the extent to which electronic and digital materials are available for students to access; (x) the extent to which electronic and digital materials are available for students to access remotely; and (xi) 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 at large. The department of education may provide staff and other resources to the commission as the commission and the department consider 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 make its final report and recommendations, if any, together with drafts of legislation necessary to implement such recommendations, 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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