by Victoria Esquivel
Bonita Vista High School’s library received $40,519, a $30,519 increase, after the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) and new budget proposal of $12 per student was approved by the Sweetwater Union High School District school board this past school year. This is the first time in 17 years, since 1998, that Bonita’s library has received a sizable amount of money, enabling school librarians to add several library books, upgrade computers and improve the creation of a media cart.
“Each site received $10,000 for the library, with $8,000 allocated for before or after school programs in the library and $2,000 for materials to support student learning in the library,” librarian Mary Anderson said.
This money is also used for materials and supplies in the after-school interventions. The money was received after data was collected from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges [WASC] and other reports. According to school site council [SSC] chairman, senior Aram Abdulla, most of the funding comes from the Local Control Funding Formula [LCFF], which is a state fund as well as the Federal government, Title II.
“With our recent WASC visit, it was brought to our attention the need to increase A through G graduation requirements of all students, as well as reinforce Common Core State Standards and increase college readiness,” Abdulla said.
Elton B. Stephens Co. [EBSCO] and World Book Online are new databases that will be available to students since the library received this year’s funding. EBSCO is one of the main online newspaper and journal databases; students will be able to use it for research in college classes. The World Book Online is a traditional set of encyclopedias with thousands of related articles to keep every entry current. These new databases along with prior learning tools help Bonita students with their studies and classwork.
“The district also bought one new printer and 10 new desktop computers for each library,” Anderson said.
Anderson has received suggestions from students and staff members such as new tables and chairs, new decorative posters, or a media creation station. Suggestions also included online subscriptions for new reference books for their subject areas and extra novels for class sets.
“We, being the school, are given some principles [where] the money, as an example parent involvement is one of those principles. We are to set aside funds for parent involvement activities,” assistant principal Fernando Delgado said.
According to Delgado, there are six priorities that the school must follow as guidance to where the school must spend their fundings. Although LCAP has eight state priorities, one being basic educational necessities, implies access to standard aligned materials, and facilities in good repair. Bonita’s library falls under this priority and the librarians had proposed a new budget because there was money left over, they were granted the $12 per student.
“For me, libraries have always represented a safe haven, a place to work, study and think, a place to share ideas with colleagues, a place where knowledge and ideas are just waiting to be discovered either online or from books. To make the library more comfortable for our students, we really need to upgrade library equipment and furniture as well as adding current print and online media.” Anderson said.