Most librarians spared in Pinellas
Most Pinellas County high schools will be keeping their library staffing levels the same for the coming school year. This news comes about two weeks after district officials were left scrambling to correct - or perhaps walk back - an announcement that eight high schools would cut librarians in the 2013/14 school year.
District officials say they want to "equalize" library staffing levels between the schools The allocation for the coming school year for each high school is one librarian and one library support person. Those high schools that had two librarians this year now can decide if they want to keep two next year rather than have a support person.
Out of the eight affected high schools, six chose to keep the two librarians they had. As of Friday, the other two hadn't made a firm decision, said Melanie Marquez Parra, a district spokeswoman. If anyone is displaced, they will be moved to a school with a vacancy.
Parra said the decision wasn't a cost-saving measure. It's actually costing the district a little more this way - about $38,000 more, she said. The calculus was more about making sure all high schools have the same levels of support in the libraries, she said. Staffing at some schools have gone up over the years because of enrollment changes.
The eight high schools that were affected include Clearwater, Dixie Hollins, East Lake, Gibbs, Northeast, Pinellas Park, St. Petersburg and Tarpon Springs.