Representative Coleman, Please reconsider HB-157

January 16, 2009 at 11:29 AM Leave a comment

Mr. Coleman,

After reading Ms. Hamilton’s letter to you, I have to tell you that neither her situation nor are her feelings are uncommon.

I also eat at my desk while working, or standing up in between classes. I also come early and stay late on a frequent basis. I take work home in the evenings and come in to work on the weekends. Not only do I participate in a minimum of 20 hours of staff development each year for recertification, I am also beginning a Master of Arts in Teaching degree program. Since I already hold a Master of Library and Information Science, this additional Master’s degree will earn me nothing but the satisfaction of knowing that I am better prepared as an educator. I do not do any of this because of the salary that I earn, but because I feel called to help meet the educational needs of our youth.

The state of Georgia recognizes the need for students to receive instruction in the areas of media and information literacy as is evidenced by the inclusion of these subjects in the GPS and on the CRCT. However, Georgia chooses to consider media specialists as support staff; while in other states media specialists are considered to be teachers, and as such they receive all of the benefits, consideration, and respect given to teachers.

I realize that with the economic situation, it is prudent to find ways to reduce government spending; but does excluding Media Specialists from “double-dipping” while continuing to work after retirement really do that? If a retired Media Specialist fills a vacant library position for which they are fully qualified, is that not better for the students and teachers than leaving the position empty or filling it with an under-prepared substitute or paraprofessional?

I could reiterate word for word Ms. Hamilton’s letter and it would be as applicable for me as it is for her. Instead I will simply ask you to, please, reconsider your position in this bill, and by doing so give media specialists the respect that we deserve as educators.

Thank you for your consideration,

Kim Isiminger, MLIS
Lakeside Middle School
527 Blue Ridge DR
Evans, GA 30809


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January 2009


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