Public Schools Turn to Parents' Dollars for Support

The space used to be a vacant field, sandwiched between Casis Elementary School and a parking lot.

Now, thanks to diligent fundraising and an architect parent, it is a state-of-the-art outdoor classroom, where young students take lessons in every subject from math to creative writing. There is an open-air “room” with long green tables and benches, rosemary filled garden beds and a lily pad-studded pond. A small stone amphitheater nearby also serves as a large scale sun dial.

The outpouring of support that produced the classroom is a pattern in well-heeled West Austin, where community members also pooled their resources ...

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