Parents protested a reduction in the time the librarian will spend at Greenbrier School in Arlington Heights at a recent Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 school board meeting.
One parent, Sharon Ruter Schmidt, suggested that the cost of paying for Chinese language lessons next year contributed to the reduction from a full-time staff member in the Greenbrier Learning Resource Center.
Superintendent Sarah Jerome said, though, that the shifting of the Greenbrier librarian was designed to make staffing more equitable between various schools.
Through this school year, each of the seven elementary schools has had one full-time librarian, she said. This is not fair, said Jerome, because Greenbrier, the smallest school in the district, is expected to have 228 students next fall while Westgate, the largest, will have 605 students. Next year, the Greenbrier librarian will spend two days a week at Westgate.
The district will spend $137,000 more next year teaching students Mandarin than it did this year due to the loss of federal grants, Jerome said. This is one of the languages that will be important for economic development in 2040 when District 25 students are adults, she said.
Per its policy, the school board did not answer public remarks made during the board meeting.