In response to your March 28 editorial “Tapping the Talent: Reviving the Governor’s Schools Is Good for Pa.,” I would like to note that the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences was the first to be restored because of the passionate fundraising efforts of alumni of the program. After the cancellation of the programs in 2008, alumni formed a nonprofit (PGSS Campaign Inc.) devoted to restoring this life-changing summer school. Through countless alumni volunteer hours, we have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from alumni and corporate sponsors. We proposed to the governor a public-private partnership, and last summer we began a dollar-for-dollar match of funds from the Department of Education in order to reopen the program for talented students from all over Pennsylvania.
I am pleased to see the governor’s proposed budget line item that you praised in your editorial. However, I am very concerned that the allocation for PGSS may not be enough to sustain our program beyond 2014. Despite the new line item for Governor’s Schools in the proposed budget, PGSS is slated for a substantial cut in public funding. We fear we may not be able to increase our fundraising at the pace required to provide more than 80 percent of the budget privately, so we risk losing PGSS again in 2015.
We alumni believe passionately in the value of this program, and we wish to ask the Legislature to join us as an equal funding partner in this valuable investment in Pennsylvania’s most talented students.
The writer is president of PGSS Campaign Inc.