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Fernbank Science Center Supporters Plan Rally Monday

The rally begins at 10am Monday at the center.

Supporters of plan to rally outside the Druid Hills center on Monday, June 18, to show support for the center.

The science center is in jeopardy of losing a bulk of its funding due to budget cuts in DeKalb County schools.

The district faces a roughly $88 million budget gap and proposed cost-saving measures include increasing class sizes and cutting jobs in the central office.

Initial proposals included closing Fernbank, but the science center was taken off the chopping block after supporters voiced displeasure with the idea.

But Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson put Fernbank back on the table Monday. Atkinson suggested $3.2 million in cuts to programs and resources at the center. Fernbank has a $4.7 million operating budget.

The board is set to make a final decision on budget cuts during a special meeting on Wednesday, June 20.

If you go: 10am on Monday, June 18, at Fernbank Science Center, 156 Heaton Park Dr.

JuliaMcElroy June 18, 2012 at 05:44 PM
ugh. Let the museum have it! You know that's what's going to happen. And they'll probably do a better job and make a fortune. Let's focus on the real tragedy which is the potential end to Pre-K. Why no coverage of that?
Ms. June 18, 2012 at 07:47 PM
The surprising thing is, the school board members budget's INCREASED by $3 million for next year, and their communications department by $650k. Their own paid audit showed they could safely eliminate over 360 jobs, but they said they only eliminated 70, had they done the whole amount, it would have saved an additional $20 million at least. And of the 70, many were just reassigned positions. More than enough to save pre-K and keep teachers. But the friends and family employment plan comes before anything education related. Fernbank is just a ploy to get everyone to look away from the central office.
Damon June 18, 2012 at 07:56 PM
The community stands to lose an incalculably valuable educational resource which the other museum corporation would not come near to supporting. The horrendous slash in the operating budget is not the answer, but the death blow. Al Tate's Open Letter to School Board is very informing: http://tucker.patch.com/articles/fernbank-open-letter-to-school-board
Cheryl Miller June 19, 2012 at 10:39 AM
Why isn't anyone talking about the erroreous tax calculations? For the second year in a row the county is admitting to faults in the new software program. Perhaps if they could calculate the property taxes correctly we would actually have enough money to fund the programs. Instead, we all jump right into what needs to be cut. Just because some neighborhoods were incorrectly calculated too high doesn't mean that others were not calculated too low. You don't have to be a science expert to understand that faulty logic being used in a software program will have data consequences across the board, not just in certain little subsets. The county tax commissioner's office needs to revert to its old software until the bugs are worked out with this one. They need to redo everyone's taxes, not just a few in certain high priced areas. We should not be so quick to accept these types of mistakes when there are such critical things at stake. Perhaps the expert minds at the science center can be called over to the tax office to help decipher the software malfunction. They can help our whole county and we would, in return, be happy to pay their salaries because they would have just justified themselves as being able to assist all the children in DeKalb, not just a select few.

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