The Governor’s School of North Carolina can expect to stay open for another summer of teaching gifted students.
The program’s state funding had been threatened in the General Assembly. But a compromise budget released Monday contains the questioned money, all but ensuring that the program will live to see a 56th session in summer 2018.
Lee Conner, president of The Foundation for the Governor’s School of North Carolina, said Monday was a “great day” for the program. Over the six weeks since people heard about the funding cut, he said, they have responded by posting on social media, writing letters and speaking with lawmakers about the importance of the Governor’s School.
“I give the legislature a lot of credit. They listened and they responded,” Conner said.
If approved by the state House and the Senate, $800,000 will be allocated for the Governor’s School for the fiscal years 2017-18 and 2018-19.
The Governor’s School is a five-and-a-half week summer program at Meredith College in Raleigh and Salem College in Winston-Salem for gifted high school students pursuing academic and artistic endeavors. The program was started in 1963 by Gov. Terry Sanford and is recognized as the oldest program of its kind in the country and a model for other states.
The Senate had proposed ending state funding for the program and directing the money to revive a different summer program, the Legislative School for Leadership and Public Service, and to a four-week science, math and engineering residential program run by the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics.
Votes are expected later this week in the Republican-controlled House and Senate, with the Senate voting as early as Tuesday.