Friday, March 18, 2011

Saving NC Governor's School, Round Two

NC Governor's School is a program for the best and brightest to be challenged during a six week summer institute of sorts. It's a program near and dear to my heart since I spent the summer of 1985 being challenged, learning new ways to think, and building friendships with other academic teens.

In April of 2009, I blogged about the impending budget cuts to this incredible state program that uplifts and meets the needs of our highly academic students. I find myself two years later encouraging folks to stand strong and to contact their legislators.

This year's state education budget calls for ELIMINATION of this program.

Here's a note to share from the GS Alumni President:

Dear GS Alumni,

2011 may go down in infamy as the year that North Carolina abandoned all pretense of promoting gifted education. According to sources within the Legislature, the proposed budget from our new majority in the General Assembly includes reducing the allocation for Governor's School to zero.

Last week, I received a message from one of our alumni containing a link to a document entitled "Education Budget Reduction Options - Public Schools" that lists the changes that are being proposed in the Department of Public Instruction's budget for 2011-2012. Here is the link:

On page 8 of this document, line item 34, you will see that the proposed option for Governor's School is to reduce its budget by 100%.

Today, I received a message from Joe Milner, past Director of GSE and husband of current GSW Director Lucy Milner. He went to the Legislature today and spoke to three Senators. He did not hear any encouraging news. The two majority Senators seemed supportive of the idea of cutting GS, and the one minority Senator indicated that there was little that could be done legislatively to prevent this cut.

I realize that our state is in the middle of a budget crisis and that cuts have to be made somewhere. But the $850,000 annual GS budget is practically pocket change by comparison to other programs, and the benefits to the students and the state far surpass the cost. The only thing that I know we can do is to make ourselves heard. We need to raise public awareness of the value of Governor's School and make it one of the programs that the citizens of North Carolina believe cannot be abandoned or destroyed.

This is a huge challenge, one that we must meet with everything that we have. I encourage all of you to write your legislators, write the Governor, write your local newspapers, blog - do anything to get the word out. And let's make sure we are heard down on Jones Street.

I will keep you informed as we make plans. If you have any ideas, contact me via FB message or at my home address,

Thank you,
Jim HartGSAA President

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