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When the budget ax falls, teachers are cut and classes get bigger...what can PTA volunteers do?

My school is facing an extreme budget shortfall. It is a fact that we'll be facing teacher reductions and larger class room sizes. I'm looking for suggestions from other PTA organizations that have used parent volunteers to assist teachers (aside from filing homework papers or cutting out snowmen). 

Any thoughts on ways that parents can assist teachers once their classrooms grow? Also what about assisting teachers in the middle school and high school grades?

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We had parent with basic computer skills assist in that area of the room. It helped keep that area opperational. Having someone with a different vantage point of the room gave the teacher "eyes in the back of her head". Even if they wern't paying any attention to what was going on, the kids were better behaved.
Thank you for your response and suggestion. The notion that having more eyes around the room is a very important point that I hadn't thought of. I'll keep this in mind when I meet with our school administrators to think of ways to add parent volunteerism to the classrooms.

Not exactly on topic but I'm from a Northern California school and we do an enormous amount of fund raising to augment the budget. We have a local parcel tax that we passed, which makes a significant difference in class sizes among other things. Also we have district wide foundation activities in addition to PTA fund raising within each school. I believe that parents from schools in some other states are just beginning to look into fund raising at such a serious level. It can be done. There is a flip side that troubles me, though, that in some areas it's not possible because families are already so stretched, so it creates a discrepancy between schools.
Can you tell me what you mean by enormous amount? Perhaps as a %? To date our PTA fundraising is aimed more at adding the extras - things like field trips, special guest assemblies - and doesn't contribute to the operating funds that would pay for additional teachers or class aides. I'm just curious what it would mean in terms of scale for us to move in that direction.

Thank you for your input - something I definitely haven't considered!


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