Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement in California

In spite of the attention drawn to the need for improvement of essential school library
services, funding in California was further squeezed by the passage in 1978 of Proposition 13,
which limited the property taxes through which public education was funded. The drop in
funding caused districts to cut discretionary spending, which, because there were no state
mandates, included school library programs ("School Libraries Struggle," 1993). In the ten years
prior to 1993, half the library media specialists in California were laid off ("School Libraries
Struggle," 1993). Not surprisingly, during that same time period, California had had the worst
funding for school libraries among the 50 states (Manzo, 1999).
Publication in 1987 of The Crisis in California School Libraries (Brandes) again focused
attention on the poor condition of the state's school libraries, especially in comparison to those in
the rest of the country, based on a national study using the same survey instrument. This study
found that California school library staff performed significantly fewer services than did staff in
schools nationally, had lower per student expenditures, and had the lowest certificated staffing
ratios in the country. In the five years preceding the study, there was a decline of 23 % in
certificated librarians employed in the state; at the elementary level, there was a decline of 36 %.
Consistent with research already presented (See Aaron 1981; Callison, 2004; Farwell, 1998;
Lance et al., 1999; Lance et al., 2000b; Lance et al., 2002; Lance et al., 1993; Loertscher, 1973;
Loertscher & Land, 1975; Loertscher et al., 1987; McCracken, 2001; McIntosh, 1994) more
than twice the number of certificated staff coordinated library skills instruction with classroom
instruction than did non-certificated staff, and overall, the level of library services was directly
linked to the presence of a certificated librarian on staff (Brandes, 1987).
In the 1990s, a concerted lobbying effort was led by, among others, state library
consultant Barbara Jeffus and State assemblywoman Delaine Eastin-later to become the state's

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Achterman, Douglas L. Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement in California. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9800/. Accessed July 13, 2014.