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Press Releases

For Immediate Release                                                             
Monday, June 19th, 2017                                                                       
Contact:    Lee Conner @ 919-260-6165 | President, GSF
        Melissa Matton @ 919-264-6876 | Vice President, GSF

Today, as the 55th session of the NC Governor’s School opens, the NC General Assembly’s joint House-Senate Conference Committee released a final budget proposal that preserves funding for the NC Governor’s School. The General Assembly’s decision to abandon the NC Senate’s initial proposal to defund Governor’s School comes after a statewide campaign organized by the NC Governor’s School Foundation to encourage legislators to save the state’s premier summer enrichment program.
 
“Reaffirming North Carolina’s commitment to funding Governor’s School represents a renewal of an investment that has returned incredible dividends to our State and some of its most gifted students,” said Lee Conner, President of the NC Governor’s School Foundation. “We have been amazed by the overwhelming number of voices that spoke out in support of Governor’s School in such a short amount of time. Thanks to the incredible support of alumni, family, and friends of Governor’s School, and the elected leaders who listened to their stories about how it changed their lives, Governor’s School will continue on as a cherished North Carolina tradition.”
 
The General Assembly’s final version of the state budget is a compromise between the original House and Senate budget proposals. The initial Senate budget included an amendment to eliminate funding for Governor’s School, while the House budget maintained Governor’s School’s state funding at its existing level ($800,000). (Students are also charged $500 to attend Governor’s School, which generates an additional $335,000 of funding.) The final version of the budget, released today and expected to be approved by both chambers later this week, follows the House version and allocates $800,000 to Governor’s School for the fiscal years 2017-18 and 2018-19.
 
To help commemorate this historic day, the NC Governor’s School Foundation has begun encouraging the Governor’s School community to show their appreciation to their elected leaders through letters to the editor of local newspapers, handwritten thank you notes, and social media. Supporters who want to make a monetary contribution in honor of this exciting news can visit the Foundation’s website (www.ncgsfoundation.org/donate) Contributions will help provide scholarships for low-income students who can’t afford the aforementioned $500 tuition and additional funding to enhance existing programming through things such as additional speakers and field trips.
 
“Preserving Governor’s School is exciting, not only for the generations of alumni who have benefitted from the first fifty-five sessions of Governor’s School, but for generations of future North Carolina leaders who will continue to be transformed by the program,” said NC Governor’s School Foundation Vice President, Melissa Matton. “The NC Governor’s School Foundation is proud to be part of preserving and protecting an institution that has had such an incredibly positive impact on the lives of over 35,000 North Carolinians.” 
 
The North Carolina Governor’s School Foundation was incorporated in 1990 as a non-profit whose purpose is to support and preserve North Carolina's premier summer enrichment program. 
Learn more about the Campaign to Save Governor’s School at www.savegovernorsschool.com or on Twitter by using #SaveGovSchool. 
 


For Immediate Release                                                             
Tuesday, May 25, 2017                                                                       
Contact:    Lee Conner @ 919-260-6165 | President, GSF
        Melissa Matton @ 919-264-6876 | Vice President, GSF

Today, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education released a proposed budget that, if adopted by the full legislature, would maintain the current funding for Governor’s School. This announcement comes after a Senate-proposed funding cut for Governor’s School drew statewide criticism from supporters of the nation’s oldest summer enrichment program for gifted students. 
 
“Over the past two weeks, thousands of North Carolinians have spoken out in support of Governor’s School. We applaud the NC House of Representatives and its leadership for listening to those North Carolina voices and for helping to preserve Governor’s School,” said Lee Conner, President of the NC Governor’s School Foundation. “The House’s proposal is an important step in the right direction, but the budget process is not over yet. We’re looking forward to continuing to share information about the importance of Governor’s School to the future of North Carolina with Legislators as they negotiate a final budget.” 
 
The NC House of Representatives is expected to vote on its proposed budget next week. After that, House leaders will convene with Senate leaders to negotiate a final version of the budget. In order for Governor’s School to continue after this summer, Senate leaders, who initially proposed the elimination of Governor’s School, will have to agree to adopt the House’s proposed funding ($800,000).
 
The NC Governor’s School Foundation responded to the House’s proposal by encouraging the Governor’s School community to show appreciation to their elected leaders through letters to the editor of local newspapers, handwritten thank you notes to Representatives, and Tweeting.
 
“In a time when so many are disenchanted by politics, it’s important to celebrate elected leaders, like those in the North Carolina House of Representatives, who listen to the voices of their constituents and respond,” said NC Governor’s School Foundation Vice President, Melissa Matton. “As we continue the campaign to save Governor’s School, we want to make sure House members know how much we appreciate their support.” 
 
The North Carolina Governor’s School Foundation was incorporated in 1990 as a non-profit whose purpose is to support and preserve North Carolina's premier summer enrichment program. 
Learn more about the Campaign to Save Governor’s School at www.savegovernorsschool.com or on Twitter by using #SaveGovSchool. 


For Immediate Release                                                             

Tuesday, May 23, 2017                                                                       

Contact:    Lee Conner @ 919-260-6165 | President, GSF
        Melissa Matton @ 919-264-6876 | Vice President, GSF

As the NC House considers how to respond to the NC Senate’s proposed plan to eliminate the NC Governor’s School, Legislators received an outpouring of support for the nation’s oldest statewide summer residential program for academically gifted high school students.

In response to a call to action from the NC Governor’s School Foundation, voices from every corner of the state spoke out about the positive impact of Governor’s School in their communities, families, and personal lives. In less than 10 days, over 20,000 people visited www.savegovernorsschool.com to learn how they could contact their legislators, write their local newspapers, and encourage their friends and families to support Governor’s School.

“Today a diverse group of Governor’s School alumni (an estimated 31,000 N.C. taxpayers) holding key jobs in the areas of industry, scientific research, politics, education and health care aren’t giving up on funding,” wrote Antionette Kerr (Gov. School Class of 1995) in a letter to The Dispatch. “Those summers together taught us to love this state enough to fight for its intellectual future.”

In Raleigh, legislators and their staff reportedly received thousands of emails and hundreds of calls less than one week after the Senate passed its proposed budget. Advocates for Governor’s School have received positive responses from key North Carolina Legislators currently considering funding levels for Governor’s School in the proposed House Budget.

“We feel hopeful that the leaders in the North Carolina House understand the vital role that Governor’s School plays in developing the future leaders of our state,” said Governor’s School Foundation Vice President Melissa Matton. "Many of our elected leaders already understand what a tremendous return on investment Governor’s School delivers to the state. For only about $30 a day in state appropriations, some of our most gifted and talented young people - more than 70% of whom remain in NC as adults - are able to participate in a life-changing intellectual experience that enhances their ability to contribute to our economy and society."

“The North Carolina Governor’s School continues to be a sound investment for the taxpayers of the Old North State,” Zach Ward wrote in a letter to the Wilson Times. “The loss of as unique and transformative a public program as the Governor’s School would be a great blow to North Carolina students, families, schools and communities, and, once lost, would be impossible to restore.”

The unified expression of support for Governor’s School included not just alumni, but community and journalistic voices as well. The editorial board for the Winston-Salem Journal published its support for the summer enrichment program, describing Governor’s School as “a feather in the cap that provides adventurous, creative young scholars an opportunity to learn from some of our best teachers. It’s a testament to the power of the intellect and a statement to the rest of the country that North Carolina understands the importance of education and innovation.”

The North Carolina Governor’s School Foundation was incorporated in 1990 as a non-profit whose purpose is to support and preserve North Carolina's premier summer enrichment program.

Learn more about the Campaign to Save Governor’s School at www.savegovernorsschool.com or on Twitter by using #SaveGovSchool.


For Immediate Release                                                             

Monday, May 15th, 2017                                                                       

Contact:    Lee Conner @ 919-260-6165 | President, GSF
Melissa Matton @ 919-264-6876 | Vice President, GSF

In response to the North Carolina Senate’s recent decision to eliminate funding for Governor’s School in its proposed budget, the North Carolina Governor’s School Foundation successfully launched a campaign to Save Governor’s School.

The campaign’s goal is to protect the nation’s oldest statewide summer residential program for academically gifted high school students by activating and informing Governor’s School’s passionate network of alumni, parents, educators, and supporters, and empowering them to share their Governor’s School experiences with the North Carolina General Assembly.

“For almost 55 years, Governor’s School has served over 35,000 of our state’s brightest young minds by providing a unique and engaging educational experience built on students asking questions and interacting with each other and faculty to find answers,” said Lee Conner, President of the North Carolina Governor’s School Foundation. Conner continued, “Governor’s School symbolizes North Carolina’s deep commitment to provide the highest quality educational opportunities for its gifted and talented children. Unfortunately, the budget passed by the Senate jeopardizes that commitment and threatens to deny future generations of North Carolinians a crucial opportunity for education, growth, and discovery.”

The Senate’s proposed budget would eliminate Governor’s School’s state funding ($800,000 each fiscal year) and redistribute it to other programs, including a new Legislative School for Leadership & Public Service that would serve a different mission using a very different curriculum. The Senate’s proposed budget was sent to the North Carolina House for consideration on Friday, where Governor’s School supporters are hopeful the House will take action to save Governor’s School.

In just the past few days, Governor’s School has received an outpouring of support from thousands of North Carolinians who have witnessed the powerful positive impact of the state’s prestigious program for gifted high schoolers, including over 7,000 visits to www.savegovernorsschool.com in just the first 24 hours of the campaign.

“To cut funding from this program would not only be unjust and unwarranted, but it would in fact be doing a massive disservice to all of the students in the state of North Carolina,” wrote Latrell Broughton, from Beaufort County (Class of 2013), in a letter to legislators supporting Governor’s School. “It would be depriving them of a life-changing opportunity, an opportunity to grow exponentially, an opportunity to expand their minds and pursue their interests, and most of all, the opportunity for them to be their true selves, without fear of being judged.”

Ellie Simpson, a Winston-Salem resident who is a music therapist and social skills coach for individuals on or around the autism spectrum, described her experience at Governor’s School during 2010: “That summer that I began to understand the phrase ‘Where words fail, music speaks’. I knew I wanted to be a part of bringing that experience - the power that music has to move people in unspeakable ways - to people in need. I dedicated my future career not to performance, but to a profession that uses music as a means to heal.”

Since its founding in 1963, over 35,000 North Carolinians have attended Governor’s School. Each summer, Governor’s School welcomes over 650 of the brightest young minds from across the state, typically representing 95 or more of the State’s 100 counties. More than 70% of Governor’s School alumni live, work, and contribute their talents in North Carolina.

The North Carolina Governor’s School Foundation was incorporated in 1990 as a non-profit whose purpose is to support and preserve North Carolina's premier summer enrichment program.

Learn more about the Campaign to Save Governor’s School at www.savegovernorsschool.com or on Twitter by using #SaveGovSchool.