NEWS RELEASES 2011-12 :: SEPTEMBER 14, 2011


The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) will hold three public hearings over the next two weeks to receive comment on the closure of one of the state's three residential schools for students with visual impairments or those who are deaf/hard of hearing.

The NCDPI was directed by the North Carolina General Assembly in the Appropriations Act of 2011 to make recommendations to close one residential school and consolidate services at the remaining two residential schools. The Department is required to report these recommendations to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by Jan. 15, 2012. Effective July 1, 2012, the NCDPI shall carry out the closure and consolidation described in the report.

The three residential schools are the NC School for the Deaf (Morganton), the Governor Morehead School for the Blind (Raleigh), and the Eastern NC School for the Deaf (Wilson). Approximately 220 students are served by the residential schools.

All public hearings will be held from 5:30 – 7 p.m. The dates and locations are as follows:

Tuesday, Sept. 20
City of Morganton Municipal Auditorium
401 South College Street, Morganton

Thursday, Sept. 22
Hardy Alumni Hall, Barton College
Located off Atlantic Christian Drive, Wilson

Wednesday, Sept. 28
Council Chamber, Room 201
Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex
222 West Hargett Street, Raleigh

Interpreters will be provided at each hearing. Citizens wishing to speak will be allowed to sign up immediately prior to the beginning of the hearing. To allow as many people as possible to speak, each speaker will be allowed three minutes. For those who do not get to speak due to time constraints, comments can still be submitted through an online survey available through Sept. 30. Other ground rules may be set at the beginning of each hearing.

On June 1, 2011, the residential schools were transferred from the NC Department of Health and Human Services to the NCDPI. Shortly thereafter, legislation was signed directing the Department to recommend the closure of one campus.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.