The collapse of the Soviet Union has forced school officials in Russia to assume the unfamiliar role of fund-raiser, as well as educator.

With Russia's economy in turmoil, the state no longer has the resources to properly fund most schools, leaving educators on their own to come up with everything from textbooks to heating oil. While many schools have had problems, Leonid Milgram, principal at School No. 45 in Moscow, has been able to adapt.

"It's a necessary evil," Mr. Milgram says of fund-raising efforts. "But I still consider my main priority is connected with the teachers and the students."

Milgram says several parents contributed large sums of money, enabling the school to increase teacher salaries.

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