Fernbank Science Center Back on Chopping Block Monday

A Lakeside High School student is among the center's advocates who have argued with the DeKalb County School System to keep it open.

It appears the – recently spared from the DeKalb County Board of Education's budgetary axe – is back on the chopping block.

Hours before the board's final budget vote Monday, Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson said she would recommend $3.2 million in cuts to the facility, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

From the story:

Nonetheless, at an informal meeting of several board members to discuss the budget Monday morning, Atkinson said she'd asked Fernbank's director to recommend deep cuts. She didn't detail the proposal, but school district spokesman Walter Woods told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that many of the programs and the 56 staffers would be reduced or eliminated. He said, though, that Fernbank would still operate as a "fully functional" science center.

Another interesting North Druid Hills-Briarcliff-related detail: Among the advocates fighting to keep the school open is Kristen Weiss, a student. Weiss is mentioned in the story.

Will you go to tonight's meeting? And what do you think of Atkinson's decision to consider the center for deep cuts again? Tell us in the comments section below.

lastminutemom June 11, 2012 at 08:52 PM
At one time, DeKalb County was a solidly middle class and better county. It is not now and will probably never be again. The tax digest is probably forever damaged. The areas that have seen a steep decline will most likely never recover -- at least in our lifetime. DeKalb County has to make deep cuts in spending, and that includes FSC.
dianne joy June 11, 2012 at 09:03 PM
In reply to all the comments about fernbank SC--it's elimination is a symptom of the squandering of our tax dollars. This is not about what should be cut or saved--this is about getting them to admit where the money has gone. They could fund fernbank and the pre K for years if they had not amassed such huge legal fees and supported unethical construction contracts and things that have not been discovered. This system was distinguished by its pre K program but now where is it? My son attended the STT program at Fernbank for an entire quarter. It was outstanding. It gave gifted children a chance to be in a unique classroom setting. He is also a Georgia Tech grad. Our school system abuses our tax dollars--it need an overhaul. I thought that is what Ms. Atkinson came to lead. I am extremely disappointed that she seems to be continuing the past corrupt administrations lead of ignoring the children and the system that supports them. 11 people making $160k in the Central Ofiice? That is $1,760,000--ONE MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED SIXTY THoUSAND DOLLARs for 11 people and those ARE NOT the top two spots!!!! Outrageous! How many teachers and assistant principals would that support? You don't cut educational needs to support isolated positions with those sort of salaries. Those jobs should be on the list--not FSC or pre K or any other educational program.
Sheila Ward June 11, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Fernbank Science Center utilizes its square footage inside and out for instructional purposes. We aren't in the museum business. Our exhibit hall, planetarium, observatory and gardens are unique and essential to programming that incorporates these facilities. FSC is not only about field trips to us. Our instructors go out into the schools - touching as many students as possible. We have increased 'in school programs' in the last several years. FSC staff realizes the status of the budget. We are willing to give to help the school system and students that we are dedicated to and continue to serve. It is the depth of the cuts that Superintendent Atkinson has asked for. And the way in which the information was relayed.
Tom June 11, 2012 at 11:44 PM
I couldn't agree with you more!
prettyflower June 12, 2012 at 12:10 AM
They're not on the school board?


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