The state Senate appropriations committee is recommending that the two deaf schools in Wilson and in Morganton be closed to save money. The closures would put nearly 200 children from the Wilson campus into public school.
Teachers and students say they are more comfortable around each other, where they speak the same language.
"I want to go every day. I don't want it to close. I want to stay here," says third-grader Tanea Brown.
Some public school systems say they will need more money to handle deaf students. Specialists for one child can cost up to $300 per day.