Education

Task force asks to keep one Governor's School campus open

Posted October 26, 2011

— A task force formed in August to find ways to keep the Governor's School of North Carolina open is recommending that the state Board of Education move forward with the program at one of its two campuses next summer.

Since the General Assembly eliminated the school's funding – approximately $850,000 – in the 2011-12 state budget, a fundraising committee secured $520,000 from Governor's School alumni and other donors.

Michael McElreath, who led the program at Meredith College in Raleigh last year, said Wednesday that the committee's fundraising success was "extremely significant."

"We've really accomplished something major. We've made sure that this thing that the state was in danger of letting go will continue," McElreath said.

The committee asked the task force on Wednesday to give them until the end of the year to keep fundraising in the hopes that they'll be able to fund both campuses in 2012. Fundraisers said they hope to get at least another $300,000 in donations by January.

Governor's School raises funds to keep one campus open Governor's School raises funds to keep one campus open

Rebecca Garland with the state Department of Public Instruction said the goal is to keep as much of the program in tact as possible.

"It would certainly be disappointing if we were only able to have one campus because obviously there would be fewer students we would be able to serve," Garland said.

The six-week residential summer program provides academic and arts courses for gifted high school students at Salem College in Winston-Salem and Meredith College in Raleigh. It wasn't clear which of the two campuses would be chosen for the 2012 program.

More than 31,000 students have attended the Governor's School since it started in 1963.

Until last year, the program was free, but 2010 state budget cuts forced the school board to charge $500 last summer. Fundraisers and alumni say keeping the program free is essential because charging tuition would make it unavailable to many students who qualify.

Committee members said they plan to lobby legislators to restore state funding to Governor's School for 2013.

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  • citizensfirst Oct 27, 2011

    in response to the comment about fancy programs for the gifted and special education budget cuts ... the fact is that gifted education is classified as special education and are presently being downsized left and right, both governor's school and science olympiad were eliminated from the budget proposal for next year. the budget cuts we see are also linked to downsizing educational facilities for the blind and deaf. the proportion of special education funds for assisting students with autism is rising in order to meet the needs of an increasingly larger population entering the public school system. the NC budget for FY 2011-2012 allots $28 million dollars for handicapped student accommodations and education, students with disabilities recieve $2.6 million, migrant education gets $1.26 million, deaf and blind students receive $500,000, and gifted and talented education receives $1.0 million in funding. special education applies to a group much larger than just autism and they are all

  • Nancy Oct 27, 2011

    "My youngest daughter may a chance to go this next year...we cannot afford a large tuition to do so. This is a worthwhile educational program. If the state could cut a bit of admin. and help keep programs like this open, it would be worthwhile."

    And therein lies the problem with society, what's good for me is worth whatever it takes of others?

    Stop!

  • br549znc Oct 27, 2011

    Fundraising is a good idea. Tax dollars are stretched enough as it is.

  • warbirdlover Oct 27, 2011

    It seems a bit discriminatory, to have a fancy school for gifted students to broaden their horizons, when special education is being cut. My oldest son is Autistic and they just throw him in with Sharks of a regular classroom, because of budget cuts. What is being done to broaden his horizons???

  • patti99 Oct 27, 2011

    My youngest daughter may a chance to go this next year...we cannot afford a large tuition to do so. This is a worthwhile educational program. If the state could cut a bit of admin. and help keep programs like this open, it would be worthwhile.

  • truth9806 Oct 26, 2011

    Good, let the task force raise the money to keep it open, as I think the money tree has been picked clean!

  • artist Oct 26, 2011

    Educational opportunities continue to dissolve so we can continue unintended entitlements and unwarranted freebies.

  • methinks Oct 26, 2011

    then keep fundraising and keep charging cause the state cannot keep giving, giving, giving.

  • Native NC gal Oct 26, 2011

    Save Governor's School!

    This was such a positive experience for my daughter when she attended several years ago. I hope my son will have the same opportunity when he is eligible to apply.

  • LovemyPirates Oct 26, 2011

    Keep these programs in place. Closing them is so short sighted.