Monday, June 26, 2006

New Jersey's Governor's School survives

A few months ago, I wrote a blog entry about NJ's Governor's School. This program allowed 600 academically advanced high school students to study advanced material for four weeks over the summer at no cost to them. As private summer enrichment programs can run several thousand dollars, Governor's School was a life raft for bright kids without extra income. The program cost $1.92 million, which New Jersey retroactively cut from the 2006 budget. That means that 600 students received acceptance letters for the summer, and were then told to make other plans.

Fortunately, it turns out they don't have to. Thanks to some generous donations from corporations and private individuals, the programs will now run as planned this summer. Meanwhile, alumni and others concerned about gifted education are lobbying the New Jersey legislature and Jon Corzine, the governor, to make sure funding is restored for fiscal year 2007. You can read about some of those efforts here.

I am thrilled that students will have the opportunity to study arts, sciences, engineering, and other great things this summer. But I also want to point out that New Jersey isn't relying on private contributions to make sure that other kids with special needs receive the education they deserve. Hopefully Corzine and the legislature won't get the idea that this is the way things should work in the future.

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