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A Detroit Museum Returns

Amid all the angst about black-hole school budgets and the bluster from dueling politicians playing "chicken" with the city parks, it's nice to be able to note the return of the Detroit Children's Museum. After being shut down last  year due to cost-cutting measures by the Detroit Public Schools, the museum has reopened with what's described as a new "hands-on approach" to most exhibits, which include artifacts such as masks, dino fossils and dioramas.

Significantly, the 93-year-old museum is no longer operated by DPS.

The Detroit Science Center now operates the museum under a 10-year agreement that is expected to save the state's largest district US$11.9 million.

"The Detroit Children's Museum was not a core part of our operations," Robert Bobb, the district's state-appointed emergency financial manager, said in statement.

"The museum needed to be given the stability of not being in the annual school budget cycle."

I agree that the museum deserves to be able to get along without fear of the guillotine of DPS budget cuts. (A mix of federal and private funding will help pay for programming.) But in many key ways, institutions the Detroit Children's Museum should always be "a core part" of the school system's operations, at least the part that includes fertilizing our children's curiosity and stretching the boundaries of their imaginations. We've lost enough due to budget crises over the years. Nice to be able to get a treasure back.
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    "Nice to be able to get a treasure back."

    I don't know that treasure is the right way to describe the children's museum. DIA, the Science Center, the Belle Isle Aquarium and Zoo all are or were treasures. The children's museum is a strange collection of bugs with a tent planetarium.

    It would make the most boring field trip.

    Hopefully the science center will make it better.

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