A summer program for some of the state’s gifted and talented high school students, could be moving to Arkansas Tech University in Russellville.
A site selection committee for Arkansas Governor's School rated Hendrix College in Conway higher according to their criteria, but then voted to recommend Arkansas Tech to the State Board of Education. Jason Rapert, the Republican Senator from Conway opposes the move and the process used to make the decision.
"This team went in, evaluated each of these sites, and turned in their scores. The highest score actually went to Hendrix, but they decided, they voted, that they were going to go with ATU, and so I feel the process is somewhat flawed and my hope is that the State Board of Education will take a very close look at the results and the oddity of the results," Rapert said.
Hendrix College has been home to Arkansas Governor's School since its founding almost 40 years ago. Every three years colleges and universities from across the state are allowed to submit bids for hosting the program. Arkansas Tech’s proposal this year includes shortening the program from six weeks to four and focusing more of the curriculum on technology.
Thursday the State Board of Education, headed by Commissioner Johnny Key, will decide whether or not to accept the recommendation of the site selection committee. The proposed move to Russellville and changes to the curriculum are also opposed by Senator Joyce Elliott as well as a former director of the Governor's School program, which serves roughly 400 students each summer.