Board decides to save science center for now

DECATUR (AP) -- DeKalb County's school board has decided, for now, to spare the Fernbank Science Center from closing.

Closing the center would have saved nearly $5 million, but hundreds of people signed an online petition in hopes of keeping it open.

Board members meeting Tuesday night decided to look elsewhere to fill a $73 million budget gap. The board is now considering a property tax increase, two teacher furlough days, the elimination of 140 central office positions, and increasing class size by one student.

The property tax hike would amount to an extra $80 per year on a $200,000 home.

A public hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the school system headquarters in Stone Mountain.