Capping an unprecedented six-month fundraising campaign that drew support from thousands of alumni and dozens of organizations throughout the state, the North Carolina Governor’s School Foundation announced Friday that it has raised a grand total of over $675,000 – enough to open the 2012 Governor’s School program at both of its host institutions, Salem College and Meredith College.
On Thursday, the State Board of Education (SBE) authorized the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to determine the size and duration of the 2012 program by February 10, based on a final fundraising report to be provided by the Foundation. In mid-January, a Governor’s School Task Force appointed by the SBE issued guidelines prioritizing the creation of a two-campus, six-week program with as many students attending as possible. The State Board and DPI agreed to follow those guidelines in planning the 2012 program.
The Foundation’s fundraising total includes over $200,000 in grants and gifts raised in the final few weeks of the campaign. Since July of last year, over 1,800 of the School’s 31,000 alumni have given more than $400,000 to ensure that its doors remain open in 2012, offsetting the budget gap left open by the legislature’s elimination of all state funding for the program last May. Working in concert with the Governor’s School Alumni Association, the Foundation is planning a large-scale advocacy campaign to petition the State to restore funding for 2013 and future programs.
Following a successful grassroots and special events campaign to raise enough money to open one campus by November 2011, the Foundation focused on winning the support of North Carolina businesses and charitable organizations to fund the second campus. Several organizations have now pledged or donated funds to support the 2012 program, including BB&T, the Eddie and Jo Smith Family Foundation, the Golden LEAF Foundation, the Goodnight Education Foundation, the Park Foundation and SAS Institute.
The Foundation has also secured over $39,000 in scholarship funds from multiple donors, in order to ensure that the $500 tuition charged to students will not pose a barrier to entry for low-income students and their families. The scholarships will help offset 2012 tuition costs for qualifying applicants.
Although a two-campus Governor’s School is now a reality for 2012, the Foundation plans to continue its fundraising efforts. The decision by the State Board allows funds raised by February 10 to be counted toward the 2012 session. The Foundation will work to raise another $25,000 over the next week, with the aim of increasing student attendance at this year’s program.
Governor’s School gets funding for one more year – WRAL