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[Susan notes: Another tactic: suggest a better way to spend the money]

Published in Boston Globe

Where's the Money for Libraries?

A report in the Boston Globe (August 17, 2000) states that investing $40 million in literacy in schools has, so far, produced mixed results, with some schools actually declining in reading. According to the Globe, the money is being used for training teachers to use one single program and instructing teachers in how to set standards. Is any money being spent on providing more books for children and improved school libraries? There is overwhelming evidence that more access to books results in more reading and improved reading scores. There is also overwhelming evidence that many children have little access to print. If the 40 million had been invested at 5%, it would have generated enough money to buy two or three new books per student per year forever. Boston's school libraries would soon be the best in the world, and reading scores would skyrocket. Why not do the obvious first?

The $40 million will soon be gone, and the district will ask for more. A single investment in school libraries will guarantee access to reading for Boston's students forever.

Professor of Education
University of Southern California

Stephen Krashen
Professor of Education
University of Southern California

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