Task force asks to keep one Governor's School campus open
Posted October 26, 2011
RALEIGH, N.C. — 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.
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.