By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) —  As public funds continue to tighten, public schools feel the squeeze.  But there’s now a bit of relief.

Alex DeMetrick reports private dollars are beginning to make the unaffordable…affordable.

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At Moravia Park Elementary-Middle School, math begins with the basics.

But what doesn’t add up is what’s needed to operate a school.  Fewer tax dollars are shrinking budgets.

To keep the basics going, schools are often forced to give up areas of enrichment, like new library books or even libraries.

And don’t think they aren’t important.

“I think they are very important because you’re able to read different kinds of books and experience new things,” said Joelle Taliaferro, student.

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So books and more are coming to Moravia, after a million dollar donation from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation triggered other groups and businesses to give.

“Each library will feature new fixtures, furniture and equipment, new reading materials — including e-books from Barnes & Noble — a bank of computers,” said Rachel Garbow Monroe, President, Weinberg Foundation. 

Four Baltimore schools are targeted for those improvements, and nearly $4 million will be spent.

“The support of the philanthropic community and businesses is going to be instrumental in terms of moving forward as a school system,” said Dr. Andres Alonso, CEO, Baltimore City Schools.

“It’s everybody coming together as a whole community for the kids, and it’s the only way it can get done because there is not enough funding for city schools,” said Katie Lyons, librarian.

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Construction of the first of the four new school libraries begins next summer.