Establishing a governor's school program requires participation in the political process. While each state has different strategies for creating governor's schools, the general process is as follows.


  • Political will is generated to encourage a study on establishing a program. This political will typically comes as a result of parents, students, and educators lobbying elected representatives to propose a study during legislative session.
  • A legislator proposes or, better yet, a coalition of legislators propose legislation to fund a study on establishing a governor's school.
  • The legislature approves funding for a study of a particular type of governor's school. This study often involves the state's department of education and includes a thorough literature review, examination of various curricular and funding models, and close analysis of similar programs in the nation.
  • The results of the study come in the form of a recommendation to fund a fuily-functioning program; the results also generally recommend funding strategies, a draft budget, minimum and maximum number of students, application procedures, and other logistical and curricular recommendations.
  • The legislature then acts upon the recommendation and passes legislation creating the governor's school program. The governor and legislature must come to agreement on the program before legislation can be enacted, and this process often takes longer than expected.
  • The legislation normally identifies the state agency responsible for planning and implementing the program. In most states, this agency is the department of education. This agency then becomes responsible for distributing, collection, and adjudicating Requests for Proposals, normally from public and private institutions of higher learning in the state.
  • Once a host is selected, the application process begins, normally through public and private school guidance counselors. In addition, the host institute becomes the fiscal agent for the program, taking on the responsiblity of executing the grant as stipulated in the accepted RFP and contract. The fiscal agent normally provides a report to the agency each year that covers expenditures, outcomes, and recommendations for improvement.