An anonymous act of kindness will help reopen the James Logan High School library, which has been closed since the start of the school year.
According to a New Haven Unified School District press release, an anonymous donor recently gave $60,000 to the school after reading about the school’s financial plight in local media reports.
Due to budget cuts, the district was forced to cut library hours at Logan and the district’s two middle schools to one period a day, staff said.
Logan Principal Amy McNamara received a call from the anonymous donor who read about the library being shut down in the Fremont Argus and San Francisco Chronicle.
The caller asked how much money it would take to reopen the library, and then offered to cut the school a check for $60,000, she said.
“I was, in a word, overwhelmed,” McNamara said in a statement. “The generosity of one individual will have a lasting effect on hundreds and thousands of students.”
According to the district, plans are being made this week to reinstate Carla Colburn as the library media specialist, who has since started teaching four English classes. The district will hire a new teacher to take over the classes, allowing Colburn to work in the library full-time.
Colburn, a librarian for eight years, was highlighted in a Chronicle feature last month illustrating the impact of state budget cuts on local schools.
"When we were open, we'd have anywhere from 600 to 1,000 students walking through here during the day," Colburn told the newspaper. "Now it's zero."
The library closure was just one of many concessions the district has had to make due to increased budget cuts.
This year, the district experienced an $11 million shortfall in state funding, resulting in additional furlough days, teacher layoffs and class size increases.
If state voters don’t approve Proposition 30, a statewide tax plan that would generate billions for K-12 education, New Haven stands to lose an additional $5.7 million, officials said.