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the establishment of a tuition-free residential school for the gifted. One board member declined to vote.

The school would house 600 to 900 gifted students in the 10th through 12th grades and would emphasize mathematics and science. Estimates of the school's cost range from $20 million to $30 million.

The creation of a state-run residential school for gifted students was first proposed in 1981, when the state House of Delegates recommended a feasibility study on the idea. Current studies on the plan focus on finding sources of corporate support and on possible locations for the school.

Advocates of the plan--including parents, professional associations for gifted educators, and the business community--maintain that a residential school would offer an alternative to students who live outside districts where magnet-school programs exist and who cannot take advantage of summer-school programs for gifted students.

A spokesman said the board is examining a North Carolina school as a possible model. Other states, including Illinois, Louisiana, and Mississippi, have opened similar schools within the past 10 years.

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