Change in HOPE eligibility harms minority students

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(Editor's note: Fewer students are expected to qualify for Georgia HOPE college scholarships because of a change in eligibility requirements. Previously, students could qualify for HOPE if they had either a 3.0 grade-point average or an 80 numerical average. Now, the numerical average requirement has been scrapped, which is expected to reduce the number of eligible students by an estimated 30 percent.)

When I read in The Augusta Chronicle some time ago that the state of Georgia's HOPE scholarship program had been revised to save money, I became irritated and flabbergasted from reading such melancholy news. It was utterly insulting and disgusting for me to have read such nonsense.

THEN-GEORGIA Gov. Zell Miller proposed the HOPE program for the sole purpose of helping many of Georgia's less-fortunate high school students. It was his intention to open doors of educational opportunities. So far, this scholarship program has allowed thousands high school students of color to enter colleges and universities. They likely would never have had this opportunity if it weren't for this program.

I find it reprehensible that Georgia state legislators had succumbed to their political theatrics to put students of color at a disadvantage by revising an extraordinary and productive scholarship program. This just doesn't make sense to me. What were these twisted politicians thinking?

Several years ago, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution conducted an extensive and comprehensive investigation, detailing who spent the most money on the Georgia lottery. It was discovered in this report that the less-fortunate people of color were the backbone for the Georgia lottery being a major, profitable success. It was revealed that if these individuals of color were to stop playing the lottery, this great moneymaking cash cow would collapse.

Individuals of color were spending an average of $8 per person. In comparison, the more affluent who are not people of color spent an average of $2 per person. Obviously, this was a big discrepancy of lottery spending between the haves and have-nots. In essence, this lottery extravaganza has been most beneficial for Georgia's elitists, whose sons and daughters have reaped immense financial benefits from them only investing pennies. What's wrong with this picture?

Also, it was revealed in the news article that many of these elitist parents of color were telling their college-bound sons and daughters to stay in Georgia to attend college and not go out of state. To get many of these students to stay in Georgia, their parents purchased new SUVs and rented luxury off-campus apartments and condominiums to entice their children to attend Georgia schools.

ON THE OTHER hand, the less-fortunate students of color benefited far less from the HOPE scholarship dollars in comparison to the huge amount of dollars their parents were spending in supporting the lottery. Simply speaking, this was economic exploitation of people of color at its best. To paraphrase the late and great Malcolm X, once again Georgians of color had been used, hoodwinked and bamboozled once again.

Is this exploitation of people of color ever going to stop? I don't think so. Therefore, it's time for people of color to start using America's capitalist system to their advantage and stop letting this system use them. I'm highly distressed by the fact that Georgia's men and women of color can fight for our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan, but many of their sons and daughters aren't going to be considered to receive HOPE scholarship dollars to attend Georgia colleges and universities. Is this a conspiracy against people of color?

Georgians of color do have options to remedy this unfair situation. They can stop playing the lottery. Also, if students of color use their God-given academic talents, they can posture themselves to meet and surpass whatever academic challenges that are placed before them to acquire their fair share of these financial scholarship awards.

And it's time for parents of color to stop programming and indoctrinating their sons and daughters to concentrate only on athletics and entertainment, and ignoring academics, because this is just absolutely absurd. Parents must see the big picture of life, whereby they must encourage their children to explore and take full advantage of all of the great opportunities that are available to them - because God didn't discriminate against people of color when he created brilliancy.

Parents of color must get serious about educating their children, because these individuals have a great deal to gain in this great nation of ours. But they must become academically prepared, and this must done by any means necessary.

Editor's note: The writer is a former Richmond County public school teacher with 31 years of teaching service. He lives in Augusta.

Comments (132)

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t of i
25
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t of i 06/11/07 - 06:53 pm
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kpc, he is too busy with his

kpc, he is too busy with his white woman to give you evidence. I'm beginning to think he is a sham, conducting some sort of semi scientific research for a thesis. Or he's just a sham. I don't know why his comment to me was removed. It was far less harmless than many I've seen left alone.

_kpc_
22
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_kpc_ 06/11/07 - 07:00 pm
0
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too bad I didn't get to see

too bad I didn't get to see it....

t of i
25
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t of i 06/11/07 - 07:16 pm
0
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He just said something like

He just said something like kiss my. He didn't say what his invitation was for. He does seem to have a fixation on lower regions.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 06/11/07 - 07:55 pm
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I think republican is just

I think republican is just having fun. He 'writes' silly comments and then acts insulted when no one agrees with him. His rants are way to goofy to be real. Even owensjefro and jmoval666 don't come out with that much loonyness.

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 06/11/07 - 07:58 pm
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Republican FYI My husbands

Republican FYI My husbands best friend is Black and yesterday we had a cookout with our other black friends. As a matter of fact I made him stop being friends with a few of his white friends for being freeloaders who live off the system and try to live off of us!! So Talk what you know fool. And no I did not study african history....Like I said before in my line of work I seen amillion people abusing the system, people of all colors. I have nothing against black brown purple or green, I just have something against lazy ignornant people!!!!!! And since when is 32 old?????? You must be one of the thugs you take up for so much!!! You complain about racism when you have made the most racist comments of all. again it's IGNORANCE I hate!!!

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 06/11/07 - 08:02 pm
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Patricia I put a post that

Patricia I put a post that said something like that too. I think he is just trying to get people going for kicks!!! lol It works!!!!! lol

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 06/11/07 - 08:13 pm
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And republican as far as your

And republican as far as your fake "white girlfriend" statement goes. That won't get a rise out of me I could care less about the girls color.. I just feel bad for any woman having to put up with someone so ignorant. As racist as you are , you are probably very degrading to women also, I would say grow up... but I doubt there is any hope for you. Do your children a favor....don't have any!!!!!!!

t of i
25
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t of i 06/11/07 - 08:14 pm
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He not only writes inane

He not only writes inane comments, he writes them as if he were illiterate. Yet he states he had a 97 average and did not have to have a Hope scholarship. I questioned whether he could get a job and he states he has one. As far as this forum goes, I think he is a fraud. If not a fraud, he is one of the most deceitful and insidious people I have ever come across. TakeAstand, as far s I can tell, he has been commenting here for only a short time. You took your stand on him pretty quickly.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 06/11/07 - 08:15 pm
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TakeAstand, I was also

TakeAstand, I was also baiting owensjefro and jmoval666. I thought one of them would post that I was wrong. lol

t of i
25
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t of i 06/11/07 - 08:16 pm
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Omit the extraneous "s."

Omit the extraneous "s."

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 06/11/07 - 08:18 pm
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lol.. I love this forum... I

lol.. I love this forum... I have met some really great people on here with great views.. even if I don't agree with them. We have some really great debates in here with intelligent people. But people like republican have made my life more stress free because I have an actual real live ignorant person to release my frustrations on even if he is a fraud!!! lmaooooooooooo

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 06/11/07 - 08:26 pm
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lol new rave for

lol new rave for christmas.... the illiterate, racist, republican doll!!!!!! It is sure to sweep the nation!!!!!! If I could make it a voodoo doll I would pin his hands to his butt so he could not type any more stupid posts!!!!!! hahahaha

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 06/11/07 - 08:35 pm
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TakeAstand, don't deter the

TakeAstand, don't deter the 'vent enablers'. Think how boring these forums would be if we all wrote intelligently. Also, even a blind squirrel finds a nut. Sometimes the most vacuous have a viable thought. republican might read his own posts some day and feel enough remorse to write something affable.;;;;lol

t of i
25
Points
t of i 06/11/07 - 08:37 pm
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TakeAstand, I'm laughing so

TakeAstand, I'm laughing so much, I'm going to have to have another glass of wine.

chicagrace87
0
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chicagrace87 06/11/07 - 08:52 pm
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I have known the HOPE

I have known the HOPE qualifications would change since my senior year in high school (that was two years ago), and I don't quite understand why we are all arguing about the new requirements or making these new requirements appear as if it is targeting minorities. Regardless of what we say, these changes are in effect and apply to everyone, regardless of race or creed. Many of the reasoning behind the HOPE scholarship changes had to do with the state not receiving as much funding for education. These new requirements are designed so that when my (and your) future children decide to go to school, they will have the same given opportunity as students today. By the way, this comment was written by a graduate of a magnet high school who attends an HBCU ( and yes, I AM BLACK!!!) Just wanted to add the latter in case you, the reader, had any question as to the writer of this comment!!!

Does_it_really_matter
1
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Does_it_really_matter 06/11/07 - 08:57 pm
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0

Pour me a glass, t of i, I'm

Pour me a glass, t of i, I'm beginning to enjoy this........

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 06/11/07 - 09:04 pm
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chicagrace87, thank you for

chicagrace87, thank you for your post. Most of us agree that the HOPE program is in constant change and none of it has to do with anything but scholastic achievement and distribution of available monies. I still think it's a wonderful opportunity for students that make the necessary effort.

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 06/11/07 - 09:52 pm
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Chicagraace...excellent

Chicagraace...excellent post.. I agree it is applied to and affects all the students on an academic level not a racial one. Thats all I was trying to say 30 posts ago!! I think you said it better!!! lol

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 06/11/07 - 09:55 pm
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lol I would have to say I

lol I would have to say I have been quite amused today as well!! lol I think I will have a glass too!!! lol It has helped me keep my mind off of how [filtered word] I am at these drunk drivers!! 2 lives lost because of 3 idiots!!!

t of i
25
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t of i 06/11/07 - 10:03 pm
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Any time, Does it really

Any time, Does it really matter, our bar is well stocked.

t of i
25
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t of i 06/11/07 - 10:08 pm
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At least we I presume we are

At least we I presume we are all at home and not behind the steering wheel.

alsharptonisthebest
0
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alsharptonisthebest 06/11/07 - 11:08 pm
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WHITE MEN MAKE ALOCHOL -

WHITE MEN MAKE ALOCHOL - 20,000 PPL DIE EACH YR FROM DRUNK DRIVERS. 600,000 PPL A YR ARE INJURED BY ALCOHOL- RELATED CRASHES. Alcohol related crahses cost the public 114.7 billion dollars. 1.5 million ppl were arrested for dui in 1 yr. 1/3 of every american will be in alochol related crash at some point in their lives. WHITE MEN MAKE TOBACCO- 500,000 ppl die from tobacco- related deaths nearly 25% of all deaths in the u.s are tobacco-related. Heart Disease 125,00O Cancer 140,000 Chronic pulmonary 70,000 Stroke 35,000 not to mention all the ppl with holes in their throat. A few ingredients in tobacco are tar, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, & cyanide. Who is selling this posion to ppl in america while making millions of dollars why ppl die every second.WHITE MEN MAKE GUNS- 35,000 ppl die from guns each yr, 5,000 are teenagers, 70,000 suffered from gun injuries every year, firearms kill 95 ppl everyday in the u.s., 40% of teenagers say they know somebody who has been shot, 45% of teenagers said they could get a gun if wanted to, 30% know of a gun kept in their house, apartment, or car. DONT HIDE THE TRUTH, THE FACTS DONT LIE ALOT OF WHITE MEN HAVE BROUGHT EVIL TO THE U.S.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 06/11/07 - 11:10 pm
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I've got to hand it to you

I've got to hand it to you republican, you're funny.

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 06/11/07 - 11:11 pm
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ok thats it... I am just

ok thats it... I am just calling republican a waaaaaaaaaaambulance before he has a stroke!!!!!

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 06/11/07 - 11:12 pm
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lol patricia.. I agree.. even

lol patricia.. I agree.. even though his posts are crazy I would have to say I have laughed a ton today!!!!!!!!!!!!

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 06/11/07 - 11:15 pm
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lol, TakeAstand,

lol, TakeAstand, waaambulance. I like that. I know I'll find a use for it.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 06/11/07 - 11:20 pm
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0

As much as I like this, I

As much as I like this, I have customers that expect me to be brilliant tomorrow. Good night all.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 06/11/07 - 11:36 pm
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0

Republican I could tell you a

Republican I could tell you a story about a couple of "browns" that even you would probably even find repulsive, These men brought a whole lotta evil into my world. but even so, I do not hold it against the whole race...I hold the individuals responsible. What have white people done to you personally to make you hate so much??? Maybe you have been hurt and there is a reason for your hatred you just don't know how to channel it into something positive or express yourself. Sounds like you just enjoy being hateful. One day when you look in the mirror you will see your own hatred looking back at you.

keepinitreal
0
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keepinitreal 06/11/07 - 11:44 pm
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0

How about having this entire

How about having this entire article removed for it's inappropriateness especially for us people of color before it causes a colorful war be that by spoken words or by laying hands or both. This is not a threat, but we people of color feel threatened by comments of this nature which makes a want to act with vengance and remorse. I don't recall the HOPE rules specifically stating"Person's of Color" for anything at all in obtaining the Grant or Scholarship. I do know that for "Underpriviledge People" who can be any color, even multi-colored or rainbow colored persons are included in that catagory.

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 06/12/07 - 12:24 am
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I agree with most of your

I agree with most of your post keepinitreal. How do you know the author wasnt a person of color? I think that the article and your post was a little inappropriate to say the least. I understand what you are saying. And you should be offened by the article. But you could have just left it at you feel threatened and offened. What image are you reinforcing by the violence comments? It just didn't fit with the rest of your post. I understand this is a reaction in some, but it does not make it right and no one should be scared to say what they feel, right or wrong... for fear of being harmed. This is still America. If we go with your theory there should be a group of whiteys beating down republicans door right now!!!! lol

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