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Staffing and Funding

Current & Historical School Library Staffing in Oregon

As of the 2020-21 school year, there are 147 FTE licensed school librarians and 668 FTE library support staff in Oregon's 1256 public schools that serve a total of 560,917 students. That is a drop from 818 FTE licensed school librarians during the 1980-81 school year. This document contains three charts that show the history of school library staffing from 1980-81 through 2018-19. Data is from staff at the Oregon Department of Education staff and from their publications, Oregon Statewide Report Card (p. 13 for 2020-21) 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.   

Recommended Staffing & Materials Expenditures Levels

The Quality Education Model (QEM) guidelines recommend the following library staffing and materials expenditure levels per prototype school. Materials refers to books and periodicals, both print and electronic formats. These figures are based on the 2020 cost model from the Oregon Department of Education. It is the School Library Consultant's understanding that the base funding amount accounts for actual spending by schools, and the fully-implemented amount is an ideal. 

  • Elementary School: unknown FTE licensed librarian and unknown FTE support staff (was an estimated .5 FTE each in 2016); $18 (base) or $28 (full) per student
  • Middle School: 1 FTE licensed librarian and .5 FTE support staff (was 1.0 FTE support staff in 2018); $20 (base) or $34 (full) per student 
  • High School: 1 FTE licensed librarian and 1 FTE support staff; $23 (base) or $40 (full) per student

Quality Education Model

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). 

QEM Cost Model

The Quality Education Commission produces a cost model every two years. It is basically a giant spreadsheet that, among other things, lists recommended staffing and funding 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 2019-20 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