Lilbrary Funding Updates

The Daily Star has some Good News from Senator Charles Schumer.
\"America\'s neglected libraries are crumbling,\" Schumer said. \"In a modern world where education is the key to success, our libraries are out of date and out of place.\"


The bad news, passed along by Alison Hendon, is on RIF, she says:
\"We got an email message today at our library telling us that RIF funding was
not included in the federal budget. RIF (as you doubtless know) stands for
Reading Is Fundamental and is a program that gives away books to children as
a reward for reading. It is usually run through schools and libraries.
This is from HereRIF is facing a two-step fight for survival. First, we need your help NOW to
ensure that RIF is reauthorized in the Elementary and Secondary Education
Act (ESEA) legislation moving through Congress. CURRENT LEGISLATION DOES NOT
AUTHORIZE FUNDING FOR RIF\'S PROGRAMS. After RIF is reauthorized, we will
need your help again to make sure funds are appropriated to support your
efforts in your community.


In 1975, Congress established the Inexpensive Book Distribution Program
(IBDP) that Reading Is Fundamental operates through a contract with the U.S.
Department of Education. The Inexpensive Book Distribution Program (IBDP)
appears under Title X, Programs of National Significance, of the Elementary
and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. Every five years, Congress
reviews the programs under ESEA, authorizes or establishes new programs, and
reauthorizes or maintains existing programs.


In the 107th Congress, both the House and Senate have released their
versions of ESEA. The Senate version, the Better Education for Students and
Teachers (BEST) Act, has passed out of committee and will go for floor vote
in late April. The House version, the No Child Left Behind Act, will be
taken up for consideration in committee at the end of April.


In current form, neither the Senate version nor the House version contains
language to support reauthorization of the IBDP. The IBDP is the source of
the funds that supports your local RIF program.


RIF children need your help. They need you to contact your members of
Congress and show your support of RIF programs, including your own, and the
nearly 5 million children we expect to serve in the coming year.


Time is of the essence. Action on reauthorization legislation on both the
Senate and House side is on a fast track. Take the time now to send an
e-mail to your senators and representatives. Tell them how RIF programs are
making a difference in the lives of the children and communities across the
nation. Urge your volunteers, friends, school officials, parents, and kids
to do the same.

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