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News Story
Updated: 06/22/2013 08:00:01AM

Teachers discover program may be in jeopardy

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PHOTO BY ALIDA SCHAT

Bones, fossilized rocks, shells and all kinds of things from the environment are on display at the Circle B Ranch's Discovery Center where seventh graders have gotten a hands-on education that is facing termination due to budget cuts.

PHOTO BY ALIDA SCHAT

Sherri Brownkats holds a baby turtle at the Discovery Center. the center's class to seventh grade students may go away next year as the school board struggles to find places to cut its budget.

PHOTO BY ALIDA SCHAT

The Polk County Discovery Center has been a place where seventh graders have gotten a hands-on education on the ecosystem and environment. That program may go away as the school board tries to cut about $13 million from its budget.

PHOTO BY ALIDA SCHAT

Sherri Brownkats holds a baby turtle at the Discovery Center. the center's class to seventh grade students may go away next year as the school board struggles to find places to cut its budget.

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With the school year officially over, many teachers are in the process of planning next year’s curriculum for their students. Polk’s Nature Discovery Center teacher, Sherri Brownkatz was in this process when she received a notice the first week of May that she and Kim Rex were being repurposed from their positions at the Discovery Center to science teacher positions at a district middle school.

“It was a complete surprise. We were not expecting it at all,” said Brownkatz of the decision to repurpose the two teaching positions at the Discovery Center, which is located at Circle B Bar Reserve and boasts more than 12,000 acres of natural wildlife.

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