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Staffing and Funding in School Libraries

School Library Staffing in Oregon: Current and Historical

As of the 2021-22 school year, there are 158 FTE licensed school librarians (compared to 147 in 2020-21) and 680 FTE library support staff (compared to 668 in 2020-21) in Oregon's 1274 public schools that serve a total of 553,012 students. That is a drop from 818 FTE licensed school librarians during the 1980-81 school year, when the State Library started tracking the information. This document contains three charts that show the history of school library staffing from 1980-81 through 2018-19. (The document will be updated in February 2023.) Data is from staff at the Oregon Department of Education and from their publications, Oregon Statewide Report Card (p. 13 for 2021-22) and Oregon School Directory ("Facts" section at end). For a snapshot of the number of licensed librarians that individual districts employ, view the Oregon Department of Education's At-A-Glance District Profiles and the Current Staffing section below. The latter includes information about library support staff as well.     

Quality Education Model Staffing & Materials Expenditures Levels

The 2022 Quality Education Model (QEM) report includes the following library staffing best practices per prototype school (pgs. 7, 10). Materials expenditure levels for books and periodicals, both print and electronic formats, are based on the Quality Education Commission (QEC) 2022 cost model from the Oregon Department of Education. The current service level (CSL) amount is based on actual spending in the prior biennium with an adjustment for inflation and enrollment growth, and the fully-implemented amount is based on adopting the best practices recommended in the Quality Education Model report.  

CSL / Base
Elementary School
$18 per student
$28 per student
Middle School
$20 per student
$34 per student
High School
$23 per student
$40 per student

Quality Education Model Background

The Oregon Quality Education Model seeks to establish an objective and research-based link between student achievement and the resources devoted to Oregon schools to use as a guide in future efforts to adequately fund Oregon schools. Evan Fuller at the Oregon Department of Education is lead on the project.  

  • In 2001, the Legislative Assembly created the Quality Education Commission to serve as a permanent body to update and improve the Quality Education Model. 

  • In even-numbered years, the Quality Education Commission publishes a report about best practices, implementation costs, and expected student performance (due August 1) and updates the associated cost model (usually by December). 

QEC Cost Model

The Quality Education Commission produces a cost model every two years. It is basically a giant spreadsheet that, among other things, lists current service level and fully-implemented staffing and expenditures levels for a prototype elementary, middle, and high school. The cost model is not published. If you have questions about it, contact Evan Fuller at the Oregon Department of Education.  

Current Staffing & Materials Expenditures

School districts must submit several annual reports to the Oregon Department of Education. Some of the information collected relates to staffing and expenditures. Staff from the Oregon Department of Education audit the data, which can take through March of the next school year. Then, upon request, they pull out information about school libraries and send a spreadsheet to the School Library Consultant.  

  • This is the most recent spreadsheet of library staffing and materials expenditures per Oregon public school, which is for the 2020-21 school year. 

  • Staffing errors?
    Work with school or district staff who submit the Staff Position report to the Oregon Department of Education. The report is usually due in January, so make inquiries before then. Make sure licensed librarians (code 9) and library support staff (code 20) are coded correctly, and that textbook managers and others are not coded as library staff.

  • Materials expenditure errors?
    Work with the staff who submit information to the Oregon Department of Education about actual expenditures made by schools and districts. "Media center materials" are library books and periodicals -print, electronic, and database formats - and can include what is provided at the district level. They are coded as 430 (library books) and 440 (periodicals) per the Program Budgeting and Accounting Manual from the Oregon Department of Education.    

Jen Maurer, School Library Consultant || || 971-375-3540