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Lawmakers call for needs-based HOPE

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ATLANTA --- To prevent the HOPE Scholarship from running out of money, Georgia Democratic legislators are calling for excluding students from families with high incomes. But the lawmakers are unlikely to get the change past the next governor.

Both Republicans running for governor, Karen Handel and Nathan Deal, told members of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday that they oppose changing the popular scholarship to a needs-based benefit.

Democratic nominee Roy Barnes said Wednesday that he wouldn't go along either.

Late Tuesday, Democrats issued a statement calling for restoring the scholarship to its original design, from when voters approved the lottery in 1992, that funds it along with the pre-kindergarten program. At that time, it was limited to students whose families had incomes lower than six times the federal poverty level. In today's terms, that would mean a family of four with an income lower than $132,300.

"By setting the family income limit at or below 600 percent of the federal poverty level, it would ensure that the program would remain financially solvent and able to carry out its original mission," said Senate Democratic leader Robert Brown, of Macon.

A presentation Monday by officials from the Georgia Student Finance Commission showed a $560 million projected deficit next year.

Lottery sales continue to break records, but rising tuition and expanding enrollment in the program are outstripping the $884 million that the Georgia Lottery Corp. pumps into HOPE and the pre-K program.

Commission chairman Tim Connell said it hasn't estimated the possible savings of an income cap.

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baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 08/04/10 - 04:02 pm
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Need based? Only if you make

Need based? Only if you make taxes voluntary.

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 08/04/10 - 04:24 pm
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Need based? Are you kidding

Need based? Are you kidding me??? How many more ways are you going to discriminate against high-achieving students?

jaquinton
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jaquinton 08/04/10 - 04:33 pm
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The problem is right there in

The problem is right there in the text, "rising tuition" and student fees are the problem here. Georgia needs to figure out a way to fix that first and I dont just mean with budget cuts.

If the GA do make HOPE need based then there needs to be a reasonable threshold and reasonable exceptions; though I'll rather not see that happen at all.

Local Interests
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Local Interests 08/04/10 - 04:34 pm
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HOPE should be based on the

HOPE should be based on the potential to be successful in college. Raise the GPA out of high school from 3.0 to 3.5 in core classes.

jaquinton
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jaquinton 08/04/10 - 04:37 pm
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Perhaps an even more pressing

Perhaps an even more pressing matter, however, is why we even call it "HOPE". Does anybody know how depressingly ironic it is for a college student to utter the words "I dont have HOPE". Its pretty much like saying "Why am I here, theres no way I can afford this school".

I'm in favor of a name change in any legislation the General Assembly comes up with.

jaquinton
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jaquinton 08/04/10 - 04:41 pm
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@Local Interests, If we talk

@Local Interests, If we talk about raising the GPA requirement then the state needs to at least be reasonable. Lets not be afraid of moving in increments other than .5.

How about this, Coming out of hs the student must have a 3.2-3.3 GPA and maintain a 3.0 in college.

fred1
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fred1 08/04/10 - 04:59 pm
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1. Don't the

1. Don't the unemployed/poor/lazy already get everything free? 2. Weren't grades boosted so the unemployed/poor/lazy could get free school already? 3. How about raising the standards to get Hope and not just waste the money on the unemployed/poor/lazy who rarely keep Hope past the first year. (see item 2 as reason for 3)

mrrhodes89
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mrrhodes89 08/04/10 - 05:06 pm
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Yes, HOPE needs to be

Yes, HOPE needs to be need-based. How is HOPE paid for? With lottery funding. Does Georgia's wealthy classplay the lottery? I've rarely seen someone in a BMW asking for scratch-offs at the gas station. So exactly how is that punishing high-perfroming students? You must mean high-performing students with substantial financial support. The majority of the people playing Ga. Lottery aren't rich. I guess the argument would then be "well maybe they should be saving that money to send their kids to school then." Well, in a roundabout way, they are. The sad thing is that a lot of people play the Lottery and they know good and well that their kids can't get HOPE.
As far as raising the GPA requirements, can you say grade inflation? No teacher wants to be the one responsible for ending some child's dream because he turned in a B paper instead of an A paper. So, the teacher just bumps the grade up, cause "Jimmy's a good kid." Just take back to the way it was. This is the first time I've heard the conservative AC commentors balk at something returning to the way things were. Wow!

bone1
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bone1 08/04/10 - 05:13 pm
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should be based solely on SAT

should be based solely on SAT / ACT scores. that way, regardless of income, gradeflation, gender, ethnicity, religion, or any other discriminating measure, we will be giving students who have the APTITUDE for college work the reward. i could care less if some rich brat gets free money; if poor folks wanted it and didn't score high enough on SAT / ACT, then they should go to tech school and earn a degree rather than whine about not being able to pay for college because someone smarter took "their" money. "gibs me dat" is the motto for far too many people these days.

mrrhodes89
0
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mrrhodes89 08/04/10 - 05:24 pm
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The SAT is actually mostly

The SAT is actually mostly about strategy. Answer the first 20 questions on Math and Verbal and you'll get a combined 1000 on the M & V the SAT. lol. SAT isn't about aptitude, its about strategy. And if you can score some Adderall, then that score will go up significantly.

I will say though, that the whole "you need to go to college to become successful" is one of the biggest lies ever told in schools. Its not what you know, its who you kno, especially in this part of the world. The number of people out there with college degrees that are unemployed is growing every year. We have graduates from the Cass of 2010 now competing with the Cass of 2009, 2008, 2007 etc.jobs. Not to mention the Cass of 1995, 1994, 1993, etc. too.

Maybe more students should go to tech and trade schools, but those are not glamourized by society. I found out that a starting driver for Greyhound makes about $35,000 a year. Compare that with a teacher's starting salary of about $34,000 and you begin to question your line of work. But name one guidance counselor or teacher that won't get sued if he/she told a student that they were too stupid for college.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/04/10 - 05:24 pm
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Mrrhodes89, following your

Mrrhodes89, following your logic, why not give the fines the judicial system collects to minority neighborhoods? Afterall they are the ones paying the fines.

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 08/04/10 - 05:30 pm
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I can honestly see both sides

I can honestly see both sides of this, especially after reading some of the comments here. One one hand, I see these politicians just saying they're against it because they don't want to tick off their big-money contributors. On the same hand, I can see where the "rich" people have enough money that they can surely pay for the tuition without aid...I mean, if little Johnny flunks a few classes and loses the HOPE, you think that's going to stop his rich daddy from picking up the tab?? But, on the other hand, I can see where the "poor" people seemingly have many of the financial advantages already, so why should everyone be penalized or hindered? Alright, I'm officially on the fence on this one, largely due to the brilliant minds posting comments here! (Never thought I'd be saying that!)

mrrhodes89
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mrrhodes89 08/04/10 - 05:34 pm
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Riverman1 is that such a bad

Riverman1 is that such a bad idea then? I mean crime only exists in poor neighborhoods, right? Be nice if the response time for the police on the Eastside was half of what it is on the Westside, especially considering where the the LEC is located.

mrrhodes89
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mrrhodes89 08/04/10 - 05:54 pm
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fred1, I agree with you.

fred1, I agree with you. There are some people out there that milk being poor for all it's worth. Some people unfairly take advantage of the system. However, there are some honest, hard-working, responsible people out there that are having difficulties too. We can't just assume that all poor people are lazy bums. I can name a few rich people that are lazy bums too, they just dress a little better.

But we have to remember what Jesus Christ's view towards poor people was and still is: blessed are the poor, woe to the rich.

dstewartsr
20388
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dstewartsr 08/04/10 - 06:16 pm
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What seems to be overlooked

What seems to be overlooked in all this was the HOPE, as implemented, had an income ceiling --somewhere under $70K, later $100K-- which was, because of the initial financial success of the lottery, very unwisely dropped.

The second factor is the various universities quickly raised tuition rates to match the increase in funding. Tuition grew at inflation plus about one or two percent in the decade prior to implementation of HOPE; for the next five years it rose enough to devour every penny of scholarship funds- plus. Co-incidence?

Taylor B
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Taylor B 08/04/10 - 08:13 pm
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Dstawart, good post. You can

Dstawart, good post. You can see the same thing happening with property tax increase and school spending.

Riverman1
78413
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Riverman1 08/04/10 - 09:15 pm
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MrRhodes89 said, "Riverman1

MrRhodes89 said, "Riverman1 is that such a bad idea then? I mean crime only exists in poor neighborhoods, right? Be nice if the response time for the police on the Eastside was half of what it is on the Westside, especially considering where the the LEC is located."

Heh, heh, heh. Police hurry to ANYTHING that happens on the westside. It could be interesting and probably is not too dangerous. They kind of take their time and hope someone else gets there first on the other side. It's kind of like a wave of soldiers hitting the beach...best to be a little behind the first guys.

So you are asking if we are going to carry this idea to the ultimate, everyone pays for the public resources they use according to how much they use them and how much they pay into the system? Any funds brought back into the system from someone or an area is credited back to them.

It would be like Westlake only paying for their own security, which they do now, and not funding other areas of the county.

Carrying that to fruition county wide, you would have Democrats hollering, something tells me. But interesting point.

DoggieMom
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DoggieMom 08/04/10 - 11:08 pm
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There are a lot of us that

There are a lot of us that live in Georgia just so we can utilize the HOPE scholarship (we have 5 children).
If we were told that "you make too much money to use the HOPE after we've paid taxes here for all the growing up years (and paid for the public school system we didn't use), we'd move across the river in a minute, and so would a lot of downtown employees who make just enough to "not qualify' for the HOPE with the proposed income limits.

The bottom line is: If a child has worked hard and earned a scholarship (and the basis SHOULD include both ACT and SAT scores, as well as grades) then you take away their incentive to attend school in GA if they suddenly don't qualify for that scholarship that they've been working towards for 13 years.

Now with the 529 college savings programs, many of us can save towards our children's college, and we're looking into doing just that.

However, as parents, we'll have the same standard towards helping our kids! If they want the help, they need to maintain an "A" or "B" average, or they can work for their education on their own!!

No one should get a "free ride" if they don't want to put forth the effort to do it well!! A College education is a priviledge, and should be
treated as a reward for hard work, and diligent study!!

smartie
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smartie 08/05/10 - 02:58 am
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you've got to be kidding!

you've got to be kidding! that is the epitome of a democrats way of thinking. am i the only one thinking, that maybe, this is discrimination?

ExaltedServant
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ExaltedServant 08/05/10 - 05:16 am
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When I was coming along, a

When I was coming along, a "B" was 85-89. Who was the brilliant mind that lowered it to 80 anyway? I believe the grading system should be changed back.

lsmith
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lsmith 08/05/10 - 05:35 am
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I agree with doggiemom: and I
Unpublished

I agree with doggiemom: and I disagree with earlier poster who says that rich people (define rich these days) don't buy lottery tickets. They do. I also agree with fred1, we keep rewarding underachieving people by giving them everything. How many people on welfare ever get off? How many people ever let go of their EBT cards? Few, it's a lifetime achievement that they work very hard to get and keep. It's hard but much easier than work

Inquiring Lynn
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Inquiring Lynn 08/05/10 - 05:56 am
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Mr.Hodes89, amen and indeed!

Mr.Hodes89, amen and indeed! Yes, exclude those of wealth and also raise their families taxes1 The Reagan and Bush transfer of the wealth to the super rich did not advance job creation and in the case of the latter no job creation ensued1
As members of society, we must honor the Social Contract -in this case the Constitution in Article one clause eight to which t the Supreme court ever holds. And rightly so!
Taxation is not theft nor a undue redistribution of wealth to the down -trodden but rather the responsibility of society to take care of the least of these and for those who are blessed and to whom much is given... to give as Yeshua declares and- for once he is so right!
Evangleist JIm Wallis notes that the Buy-bull has so much to declare in favor of the needy!
lsmith , rather than delighing in showing off your nescience, how about getting the real facts?

bettyboop
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bettyboop 08/05/10 - 07:02 am
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Lynn what are you going to do

Lynn what are you going to do when the rich are tapped out.......?????

soldout
1280
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soldout 08/05/10 - 07:31 am
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might be fair since the poor

might be fair since the poor buy most of the tickets. As it is it moves money from the poor to the rich who know better than to buy the tickets.

baseballmom3
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baseballmom3 08/05/10 - 08:34 am
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Well by the time I pay for

Well by the time I pay for everything that I don't get free because they say I make too much money, my wallet is broke. That is what seems to always be missed. It is the same way with the FASA forms you fill out for college. They say we make too much. Yet they don't look at the families financial situation at all. I may have one in college but I also had two in day care, several hundreds of dollars of medicines that I had to buy each month and by the time I paid for everything that I didn't get free I didn't have any more than someone who made less than I did. This always seems to be missed. We who work pay for everything for ourselves and everyone else. The poor can make good grades just like anyone else. It takes parenting to start with and determination on the part of the kid. So finances should have nothing to do with it. It should be soley based on grades. Look at the Lany the other schools getting federal funds. They have a grand stadium but yet need more tax payer dollars to bail them out because they are failing. So is the stadium to make the feel better about themselves. If those parents and students cared to start with they would need more tax payer dollars. People have got to start taking responsibility for themselves and quit depending on the gov't to take care of their every need. Don't they have pride anymore. If there is a program out there for students who earn the grades for part of the pie then that should go to those students. Quit punishing those that try and work hard for a better life.

baseballmom3
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baseballmom3 08/05/10 - 08:36 am
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Also, if the poor have so

Also, if the poor have so much to spend on lottery tickets then maybe they don't need my tax dollars to pay for their food and everything else they get.

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 08/05/10 - 10:28 am
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I say get rid of the entire

I say get rid of the entire program. The HOPE has done more to inflate grades and tuition than anything else.

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 08/05/10 - 10:29 am
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And for ppl who keep talking

And for ppl who keep talking about taxes.. The HOPE is not paid for by taxes.. it is paid for by lottery sales.

corgimom
26212
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corgimom 08/05/10 - 10:44 am
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Baseball- I know, without a

Baseball- I know, without a doubt, you have assets (since FAFSA turned you down). You are expected to use those assets to pay for your childrens' college. You also are expected to take out loans.

I got a Pell grant back in 1980. We had very little money, a baby, and no assets and a very low income. And that's pretty much who gets it.

proud2bamerican
441
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proud2bamerican 08/05/10 - 05:14 pm
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Please make your opinion

Please make your opinion known to legislators if you are against this change!! If they need to recoup funds can't they just lower the winnings?? Democrats are always looking for one more way to limit support to only those who are below poverty and yet probably do not contribute or even pay income taxes to keep our country running.

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