Metro Atlanta's Fernbank Science Center has made learning about science enjoyable for millions of children and adults over its decades-long tenure. Exhibits teach field trippers and families about frogs, bugs, and dinosaurs. The facility also features a 65-acre forest and planetarium. But now DeKalb County is talking about closing the center in order to balance the budget.
While the facility's management has been criticized for its $4.7 million budget and especially its 56 full-time employees, many parents deplore the fact that science education is being cut while school sports programs never go on the chopping block. Many concerned stake holders think the center could be self-supporting and that putting the Fernbank in private management would be the solution. Tell DeKalb Schools to actively seek private sector management for the Fernbank!
We the undersigned believe the Fernbank is far too valuable to close. It has provided wonderful, hands-on, visual science education for millions of children and grown ups who visit it. People drive sometimes considerable distances to experience the exhibits. While we understand that DeKalb's revenues have been hard hit by the foreclosure crisis, we urge you to immediately solicit bids for private management of the Fernbank. Those Fernbank fans who think it could be self supporting are probably right, and the solution is not to close the center, but to find an agency that could run it more efficiently. Save the Fernbank for the future!