Parents Pitch In to Help Schools Face Budget Cuts

The New York Times

October 1, 2012


The space used to be a vacant field, sandwiched between Casis Elementary School and a parking lot. Now, thanks to diligent fund-raising and a parent who is an architect, it is a state-of-the-art outdoor classroom where pupils get lessons in subjects ranging from math to creative writing. There is an open-air “room” with long green tables and benches, rosemary-filled garden beds and a pond studded with lily pads. A small stone amphitheater nearby also serves as a large-scale sun dial. The outpouring that produced the classroom is part of a pattern in West Austin, where community members also pooled their resources when Casis’s 60-year-old library needed new shelves — and when, down the road at O. Henry Middle School, the campus could not afford to hire the teachers it needed to maintain small class sizes after state budget cuts.
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