One of the most depressing lessons in my reporting career has been watching up close how government works. Many decisions made by the General Assembly in Georgia have nothing to do with the merits of the question, but of who is chasing down lawmakers and buttonholing them in the corridors.
AJC reporter James Salzer describes this process well in a story on why the Promise teacher scholarship and HOPE teacher scholarship were cut this year, while an engineering scholarship for private Mercer University and grants to all private college students were protected or increased.
The most telling quote in the piece explaining how this happened came from a pivotal legislator involved in higher ed decisions.
Sen. Seth Harp (R-Midland), who chaired the Higher Education budget subcommittee, said he didn’t hear anyone fight to keep the teacher scholarship programs.
“If you don’t beg, you don’t get to the table.”
Here is an excerpt from the Salzer story in the AJC: