A coalition of publishers and education and industry groups—including Scholastic and the Association of American Publishers―has called on the U.S. Congress to support the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which provides federal funding for national K-12 education programs.
Other organizations and companies participating in the joint effort include Baker & Taylor, OverDrive, Booklist Publications, Bound to Stay Bound Books, DEMCO Inc., ESCO Information Services, and the Junior Library Guild, among others.
Coalition leaders sent a joint letter to U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA). The coalition specifically asks Congress to incorporate the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLS) Act in ESEA reauthorization, which would "expand federal investment in school libraries in order to offer students the tools they need to develop critical thinking, digital, and research skills," according to a statement released by the American Library Association, who submitted the letter.
“We support the nation's leading educational businesses and groups in calling for federal support for highly effective school library programs,” said Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the ALA Washington office. “It is time that Congress recognized that students who have access to quality school libraries and supportive school librarians learn more, get better grades and score higher on standardized tests.”