Texas school district to remove all librarian positions

A Texas school district will no longer have librarians.

Spring Branch Independent School District eliminated all librarian positions due to budget cuts, according to San Antonio Express-News.

Superintendent Jennifer Blaine blamed the $35m deficit on the Texas legislature’s failure to boost public school funding amid Governor Greg Abbott’s fight for school vouchers.

“These difficult budget decisions are the result of the inaction of our state leaders who have prioritized education savings accounts (vouchers) over funding for public education,” Ms Blaine wrote in a letter to the Houston school district community.

In place of librarians, school libraries will be operated by “media center assistants,” the Houston Landing media company reported. These roles will accept a lower calibre of qualifications than was required of the librarians.

Like many schools across the US, Spring Branch ISD has faced book bans amid right-wing outrage towards books that touch on race and LGBTQ issues.

Though Spring Branch ISD officials did not mention these book bans as motivation for the cuts, an anonymous librarian in the school district said they wondered if they may have been a reason.

“I can’t seem to shake that feeling that maybe that is what’s going on here,” the librarian reportedly said.

Texas Freedom to Read Project founder Laney Hawes said she believed the cuts were reprisal against the librarians, who are often vocal in their opposition to book bans.

“Libraries have been under attack for the last year or two, and now these politicians get to come in and fire them,” Hawes said. “That’s the message here in Keller and in Spring Branch, there’s no question that that is exactly what librarians are feeling and believe.”

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