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Too Many Kids, Not Enough Seats

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Overcrowded classrooms plague many schools in rapidly growing communities, where children frequently have to learn their lessons in trailers because there is not enough space in the buildings for more classrooms. To deal with the challenge of educating students in overflowing facilities, some school districts are turning to the private sector for help. Listen to this story from American Public Media's "Marketplace." (Real Player required.)

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The majority of schools in the US have growing student populations. This does create a very real space problem, but it is not a new phenomenon and has not proven to be a big problem in the past. Most adults today can remember having to spend at least one grade or class in a trailer or other "temporary" structure. These same "temporary" classrooms often remained in place for several years more than they were originally planned for. My children both had trailer classes. In fact, one very hot "indian" summer, the trailer my youngest spent second grade in was one of only two air conditioned classrooms in the school. Point: The temporary classrooms are a simple fact of life for most school children and mark only that school are in the process of growing to meet the space demands of students.
Temporary classrooms are necessary because of the exspense and time school renovations take. Often budgets are spread too thin or over too many years to meet construction needs. It would be helpful if citizens seriously considered the needs of their public schools when debating property tax increases or other funding issues, but these are issues that are not likely to go away.

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