and middle schools in 2013-14 hired more teachers for subjects such as reading,
math, science or social studies to meet state mandates for classroom sizes.
Principals devised class schedules and hired the teachers needed to avoid
millions in potential class size violation fees, he said, but that left less
money for schools to hire media specialists.
For about five years, Duval’s board and superintendents have funded about
half of each school’s media specialist’s salary, leaving it up to principals to
use discretionary money for the rest. When given a choice, most principals had
other priorities, Vitti said.
“I believe they see more return on investment by investing in teachers and
instructional coaches,” Vitti said, adding that he also put reading coaches and
reading interventionists into many schools. Reading coaches specialize in
helping teachers and reading interventionists help below-grade-level students.
Vitti added: “If I add media specialists I want to see their roles evolve …
Some of them already do this, but I want to make it explicit that it’s all
hands on deck.”
First the class size amendment is no joke, but the thing is it didn’t just
start two years ago when Vitti started cutting librarians. It has been around
for nearly a decade and it wasn’t until Vitti got here that librarians suddenly
Next when talking about return on investment, two years ago, Vitti had
schools budget for fifty less students in his zero sum budgeting. Now I have
read that zero sum budgeting is probably a good thing every so often. It cuts
out the waste rather than just letting budgets roll over each year but let’s
not pretend principals all of a sudden went, “what do we need a librarian for”,
when they were forced to cut staff. Many
cut librarians because the district gave them no other option.
Finally his disdain of school based staff is bordering on pathological, Vitti
added: “If I add media specialists I want to see their roles evolve … Some of
them already do this, but I want to make it explicit that it’s all hands on
What does he think librarians have been doing? Sitting with their feet up
all day reading cosmo eating bon bons. No schools librarians have been working
just as hard as everybody else to get students ready and for him to denigrate
them is despicable, par for the course when it comes to teachers but at the
same time despicable.
No other district with a reading problem thinks it is acceptable to cut
librarians and turn libraries into testing centers but Duval and that should
really tell you all that you need to know.