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Community Digest

Bellflower : Library, Custodial Services Suffer in School Budget Cut

March 12, 1992

The Bellflower Unified School District board has voted to cut library and custodial services as part of a plan to trim $547,000 from next year's budget.

The cost cutting includes no layoffs, but it will reduce cleaning services and result in converting all four elementary librarians into classroom teachers.

Librarians and teachers protested the cuts at the last board meeting. "I truly believe that a library and librarian are the soul of the school," teacher Linda Johnson told board members.

Librarians also submitted a letter of protest. "We cannot wait until high school to develop lifelong positive attitudes toward reading or information-power skills. These should be priorities throughout the student's educational experience," the letter said.

Officials said they supported the cuts reluctantly. Schools will continue to have a library clerk who can check out and file books, but who has not been trained to teach library skills. Some schools may be able to restore a part-time librarian by diverting funds from other accounts.

Other approved cuts include $125,000 that would have been used to purchase band and athletics equipment, textbooks and other instructional materials. The district also will cut its lobbyist, saving $46,000 from an estimated $30.4-million budget.

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