Withdrawal of state funding will see a special teaching programme for Whangarei gifted kids fold - unless parents dip deep into their pockets to keep it afloat.
The Gifted Kids Programme is hosted at Tikipunga Primary School and has 22 students. It costs about $3000 a year for each child to attend the programme.
It aims to provide a more challenging curriculum for the district's brightest pupils.
The Wellington-based Gifted Kids Programme administers the special learning and chief executive Deb Clark said it cost $50,000 a day per classroom to run the programme.
"We've had reduced funding last year and no funding this year which means some classes will have to merge, some will have less days, this one [Tikipunga] will close down," she said.
The other Northland school, Selwyn Park, in Dargaville, will continue because it had a different funding model, she said.
About 35 students attend the programme two days a week.
A public meeting was held at Tikipunga Primary School last week to discuss the options of keeping the programme going.
Whangarei MP and Minister for Fisheries Phil Heatley said after the meeting, which he had attended, that he'd see what the stakeholders' game plan was before deciding on what help could be offered.
A parent, Nadia Withers, whose daughter Caitlin attends the programme at Tikipunga, said she'd be happy to pay more than $16 a day she was currently paying for the programme to continue.
"It's a fantastic programme but it's a shame Whangarei will miss out. We definitely need it up here," she said.
Ms Clark said the funding situation was extremely difficult to cope with and that donors were still supporting her organisation but they did not have as much to give because of the recession. Gifted Kids Programme got about $1.2 million annually from Government.
Ms Clark said withdrawal of state funding, coupled with less demand for the programme from principals, meant some students would miss out. She had been in discussion with schools around Whangarei and said some have offered to look at alternative funding models while others wanted to conduct the programme on site.