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Vote “no” on State Treasurer referendum to support school libraries

books

To the editor,

In celebration of School Library Month in April, really celebrate your school libraries!

One way to celebrate your school libraries is to vote “no” on a statewide referendum Tuesday, April 3, on whether or not Wisconsin should amend its Constitution to eliminate the Office of the State Treasurer and add the Lieutenant Governor to the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL).

Why is it  important to vote no? The office of the State Treasurer manages the Common School Fund. The Common School Fund is the only dedicated source of K-12 school library funding in Wisconsin. School libraries use the Common School Fund to purchase books that are diverse and represent our students and their experiences, high quality databases and subscriptions, and other library materials which include makerspace items, where students create, collaborate, problem solve and build skills using STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math).

The State Treasurer does not play a major role in K-12 state funding, does not have a role in determining the state budget and does have the responsibility of providing oversight and signing checks. Replacing the State Treasurer with the Lieutenant Governor could lead to more partisan decision-making.

If this referendum passes, Wisconsin would be the only state without a fiscal watchdog. We need the Office of the State Treasurer so we have checks and balances on the executive branch.

Other ways to celebrate school libraries are to advocate on behalf of them, talk to a librarian and participate in library programs during both school and summer programs.

See you at the polls April 3 to vote “no” for the statewide referendum. For more information, please see www.saveourfiscalwatchdog.org/.

Mandy Meloy,
public school librarian, 
educator, wife, mom and voter.

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