Centrum Youth Programs At Risk in 2011 WA Budget

Once again, Centrum’s funding from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction is at risk! Governor Chris Gregoire has recommended cutting all funding for Highly Capable programs. This is the funding that supports Centrum Youth Programs.

Please contact your legislators and tell your story about how Centrum has made an impact in your life and what the programs mean to you. Urge the legislators to continue to fund Centrum and other programs providing Highly Capable education in Washington State.

The governor is about to call a special session. It’s important to get your messages to legislators within the next couple of days.

For 35 years, Centrum has provided tens of thousands of Washington students life changing experiences through arts programs at Fort Worden State Park.  During this time time, Centrum has received partial state funding ($170,000 per year since 2001) for these programs through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). For the 2010-2011 school year, funding has been reduced 6.3%. We can live with that.

What will crush the programs is a complete elimination of funding, which has been recommended by both Democrats and Republicans.

Centrum programs are a great investment in the youth of our state. Building creative capital is key for this state and our nation if we are to have a vital role in the global conversation. And Centrum is a great investment for the Washington State budget.  Through Washington State Parks, Centrum pays the state far more than we receive in state funding.

Here are the numbers:

State Funding Received in 2010
OSPI $159,312
WSAC $49,120
Total $208,432

Fees Paid to Washington State Parks in 2010: $767,663
Net Gain to Washington State in 2010: $559,231 – A 368% return on investment

If you or your children, or someone you know have benefited from Centrum’s programs, we ask that you take a couple of minutes to send an email or make a phone call (ideally both) to your Washington State legislators.  It’s easy; just follow the links and the steps outlined below.

Thank you for your consideration and for your support.

John A. MacElwee
Executive Director



  1. Enter your address or zip code
  2. Select your representative
  3. Click on email (you may also want to take down their phone number)
  4. You will need to reconfirm your address or zip code
  5. Enter your contact information
  6. Check if you would like a response (recommended)
  7. Check if you would like to cc other legislators in your district (recommended)
  8. In the subject line please write:  Please Retain Funding for Centrum and Highly Capable Programs
  9. Type your note in the comment section (sample provided below)
    BIG BONUS: Follow up your email with a phone call

Dear (Legislator):
I am writing to ask you to maintain funding for Centrum’s youth programs at Fort Worden State Park which is currently part of statewide funding for Highly Capable students. The Governor has recommended cutting all education funding for Highly Capable students.
For 35 years, Centrum has provided tens of thousands of Washington students “life changing” experiences through the arts, and in integrated art and science programs offered at Fort Worden State Park.
(Personally, Centrum has offered (me, my child, our community) the chance….)
(I feel strongly about Centrum because….)
Thank you for your consideration.
(Your name)