State Sen. Carter: Reinstitute cap on HOPE and base it on available lottery funds each year

State Sen. Jason Carter is sponsoring legislation to restore an income cap for HOPE that would be predicated on available lottery funds. (Special))

State Sen. Jason Carter is sponsoring legislation to restore an income cap for HOPE that would be predicated on available lottery funds.

Jason Carter, D-Atlanta, is the state senator from the 42nd District, representing DeKalb. Carter is sponsoring legislation to restore an income cap on HOPE recipients, although his cap is higher than the one that Gov. Zell Miller put in place when he created HOPE.

In 1993, HOPE was limited to students from families earning less than $66,000 a year. The cap was raised to $100,000 in 1994. A year later, flush with lottery revenues, the state eliminated any cap on HOPE.

However, with the lottery failing to keep pace with the rising costs of HOPE, there is now discussion of restoring an income cap.  I asked Sen. Carter to write an op-ed piece for the Monday AJC about his legislation. Here is a preview for blog readers:

By state Sen. Jason Carter

Last year, Governor Nathan Deal made his reform of the lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship programs his only “signature” legislation.

Today, based on his administration’s own reports, it is clear that his reform has failed.

First, the governor’s budget calls for the HOPE programs to pay out more that they take in — again.

In fact, the plan not only dips into the lottery reserves, but it spends HOPE’s “rainy-day” money until it cannot spend any more. Thus, despite the “reform” HOPE is still not living within its means.

In addition, the current plan fails the hard-working, high-achieving students who depend on HOPE, and the plan ultimately harms our state’s economy.

According to the Georgia Student Finance Commission, by 2016 — in just four years — HOPE will pay for less than half the cost of college. And, HOPE will continue to vanish over time. By the time my children are in college, HOPE will be an afterthought in the scheme of college costs.

Every year there will be more high-achieving students who cannot afford college. We need well-educated students to drive our economy, and any HOPE plan that reduces the number of students who can afford college can only be called a failure.

The administration’s badly miscalculated Zell Miller Scholars program makes the situation worse. Right now, more than 80 percent of the Miller recipients go to Georgia’s two most expensive colleges. And because it provides full tuition, the Miller program will get more expensive as tuition rises. The cost of the Miller program will balloon, while HOPE is vanishing.

We can do better. Senate Democrats filed legislation that will truly preserve HOPE for the future. Put simply, rather than destroy HOPE for everyone, we would restore the full HOPE scholarship for the maximum number of students every year. In addition to the current academic requirements, we would reinstitute HOPE’s original income cap. The cap will be set as high as possible each year based on lottery revenues, so that we maximize the number of students who get a full scholarship.

This year, if the cap is set at a family income of $140,000, then about 94 percent of Georgia families would be eligible for full HOPE. In many communities this would protect virtually all current HOPE scholars.

Our plan also reforms the Miller Scholarship to provide it to the top 3 percent of every high school, regardless of income. The best and brightest from every Georgia community would get a full scholarship, and the Miller Scholars would be spread throughout the University System, making it a truly statewide program.

This plan is more fiscally responsible. With a $140,000 cap, HOPE would run a surplus this year, instead of depleting the reserves. And in 2016, when the Governor’s plan pays less than half the cost of college, this plan could still provide the full scholarship for students whose families make less than $140,000. Unlike last year’s plan, the scholarship would serve its purpose and be financially sound.

I and others stand willing to discuss new and better ideas. But if we allow the failed HOPE reforms to stand, we risk the future of our children, our economy and we diminish HOPE for everyone.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

199 comments Add your comment

Earl of Ft. Liqourdale

January 28th, 2012
10:47 am

A better story: The Glenn Brock (Brock Clay Law Firm)…James Wilson (School Consulting Company)…Mark Elgart (Private Accreditation Company, SACS) connections. Hmm. Haven’t we been saying that this Educational Industrial Complex is full of moolah? It’s a multi-billion dollar industry right here in Georgia. Folks, the Mrs. and I were just talking this morning while sipping on some Folger’s about how it has gone (since the days when we taught in Clayco) from teachers driving the agenda in their classrooms and having a genuine concern for their kids to lawyers and hireling superintendents (from all over the country) padding their fat wallets with the taxpayers’ monies and apparently having little concern for the children themselves, though they pay lip service to this.

Follow the money, just like the snook follow the chicken gizzards that Abe and Eli use on our lines at the 14th Street Bridge (at the Las Olas intersection) down here in Liqourdale.

voice of reason

January 28th, 2012
11:02 am

Was the program not originally intended to offer opportunity to those students who proved themselves academically but could not afford college? If so there SHOULD be a an income cap on the offer. I am not against the rich. I am not against capitalism. I am NOT an ‘occupier’. But why would this program offer money to those who can afford college while running deficits? Why has basic common sense disappeared from our society?

William Casey

January 28th, 2012
11:11 am

An income cap should be discussed ONLY after something is done to prevent marginal “scholars” from using HOPE to finance a year of partying. Also, absolutely no HOPE money should be spent on remedial courses.


January 28th, 2012
11:32 am

If this cap is passed, my high achieving son will have a difficult time affording college. He took out the most loans he could this year. Next year will be even more money because of rising tuition and the possibility of no HOPE. He is being penalized because we made more than the cap. The students who will be getting HOPE under the cap have other loans, grants etc to use in helping defray their costs. My son does not qualify for these.. HOPE, this year, did keep him from borrowing $14,000; he only borrowed 11,0000. My son made the grades in high school to gain HOPE; presently he is making the grades in college. He kept his end of the bargain but the state has not. Some possible solutions to help keep HOPE for all students who are achieving and deserve it are to raise the high school GPA to 3.5 and have a certain score on the ACT or SAT. Eliminate the Zell Scholars; every student should get the same amount no matter the test score or the GPA as long it is the minimum. There are also many other scholarships for the very high achievers. If 94% of the families will be eligible for full HOPE, it sounds like the program will still have money issues. It looks like the money is just being moved around from one group of kids to another. You aren’t saving any money. According to your plan, the Zell Miller scholar will get a full scholarship and the students who are below the income cap and make the academic requirement will get a full scholarship. How is this saving money?

bootney farnsworth

January 28th, 2012
11:41 am

another democrat with another entitlement program.

FCS Teacher

January 28th, 2012
11:46 am

Is there a statistic on the number of students who use HOPE, but drop out before graduating? Is this a significant problem?

bootney farnsworth

January 28th, 2012
11:46 am

a more common sense approach is to place restrictions on the number of applicants who can recieve HOPE each year.

make it more like college admissions where things like community service, school related activites(clubs, band, ect) and those with better grades have a higher priority than the kid who sleepwalks through HS

bootney farnsworth

January 28th, 2012
11:48 am


I don’t have figures in front of me, but where I work we see a pretty good attrition rate of HOPE scholars hitting the wall hard.

its not they are bad kids per se, they just aren’t ready for the rigors of college. their alleged HS education didn’t give them the grounding they need to compete and survive

another comment

January 28th, 2012
11:53 am

The biggest problem right now is the top Private and Catholic High Schools, are ensuring that 90+% of their graduates graduate with a 3.8+ GPA. These are the students whose parents paid $16,000 to $25,000 for high school and make $200,000+ a year. However these parents will make it clear they are due to receive above a 3.7. Otherwise these schools won’t get their annual donations, alumni donations etc. These schools and parents also make sure that their students have tutors and the best help to make sure they score over 1200 on the SAT


January 28th, 2012
11:57 am

Under this particular 140k cap, my family would be protected as we are no where near that number. But I am still leery of placing income caps because it can be a slippery slope. What happens 3 years down the road when the lottery still isn’t making enough and tuitions are still increasing? The income cap will be lowered… that’s what will happen. It’s too easy. Then what happens 3 years after that, and 3 years after that? It won’t be long until Hope is only for those at poverty level. My kids are only 4 and 6 years old, I have no expectation that Hope will be around by the time they are ready for college.

Low income families have alot of options to pay for college (grants etc), but for those between who make around 100k, there is no help and they can not afford to pay outright. Why can’t we control these outrageously rising tuitions? Only then, will college would be more affordable for everyone. Everything else is just a band aid.

bootney farnsworth

January 28th, 2012
11:57 am

why not cap HOPE?
besides that capping HOPE creates another entitlement program, the simple fact is college has become insanely expensive.

even in state the cost of sending a kid to college these days can easily explode the budget of families making less than $250,000 a year.

nothing except the price of gas has gone up so dramatically in so short a period as tuition and related fees.

bootney farnsworth

January 28th, 2012
12:02 pm

more common sense approaches:

require HOPE hopefuls to take at least 1 core joint enrollment course.
and pass it. this way we can get a gauge if the kid is ready for the rigors of college yet.

another is to require HOPE recipients to take a certain amount of service learning courses while in college. if thy’er not willing to earn the HOPE, don’t give it to them.

anyone not a Zell Miller scholar must go the 2 year/tech college route – and graduate- before going on to a 4 year school.

bootney farnsworth

January 28th, 2012
12:06 pm

private & catholic schools demanding results from the kids, and parents who are willing to invest in said activity.

and to some this is a problem? we should have this problem on a national level.

who are these people, giving a damn about the education of their children? any chance we can get them into APS administration?

bootney farnsworth

January 28th, 2012
12:08 pm

oh, and about student loans….

the only thing more predatory than holders of student loans is the IRS.


January 28th, 2012
12:09 pm

Minorities and the ‘disadvantaged” already have the majority of the fiancial “assistance” (read free ride) programs to attend college. And yet even with the FREE ride fail to graduate in overwhelming numbers –maybe because they didn’t have the smarts to be there anyway, but due to diversity requirements—that’s another story. So the middle class and upper middle class who are the students who actually graduate get a real job (i.e. not a government job) then not only have to pay back their school loans, but extra tax money to fund the giveaway programs te government enacts to put more students who don’t belong into college!

bootney farnsworth

January 28th, 2012
12:12 pm

how about we eliminate all off site graduations – yes, talking about Ga. State – to save some money.

or dump them altogether.

its the degree, not the party that matters

Girls gone wild

January 28th, 2012
12:14 pm

All of us who went to college remember seeing the minority and “disadvantaged” kids with all the financial assistance hanging out in the student union, playing ball at the student center all day, and getting that free paid year of partying -disgusied as college– then the liberlas are up in arms that not enough of them graduate –solution –throw more money at it of course


January 28th, 2012
12:17 pm

I think Gov Deal, Sen Carter, and others who proprose to play games with the HOPE requirements conveniently ignore two of the biggest factors:
1. The casual student who attends college for a year, doesn’t make the grades, and drops out.
2. The significant increases in tuition which outpace inflation and even those of comparable institutions.

1. I’ve long blogged about this problem. Solution: make HOPE a REIMBURSEMENT program where the student pays the tuition up front and then gets reimbursed for those classes he passed. Put some “skin in the game”, as they say.

2. The second issue is more problematic. That is, the dramatic increase in tuition that far exceeds inflationary pressures and exceeds the tuition increases at comparable southern colleges. There was a very good ten year comparison of UGA’s tuition compared to three different peer groups.

What this report shows was that in 2001, the tuition at UGA was comparable to the average of the Southern Region peer group. However, in 2011, UGA’s Resident/non-Resident tutiion exceeded this average by 15%/21%. During this period, the peer group average increased by 104%/104%, whereas UGA’s tuition increased 156%/138%.

The question remains why UGA’s tuition exceeds that of their peers. I would suggest that they had no external pressure to keep costs in line. After all, HOPE was paying for everything.

A classic example of killing the golden goose.

bootney farnsworth

January 28th, 2012
12:18 pm

@ themis

incorrect on several counts:
1-very few of these “free rides” are actually free. most have a big
bill due later.
2-most the “minority & disadvantaged” students who fail do so not due
to lack of intelligence, but due to lack of a decent HS system who passed them through instead of actually educating them (see APS)
they hit college unprepaired for what actually is waiting for them.

its a nice boortz-ish rant, but has little basis in reality.

bootney farnsworth

January 28th, 2012
12:20 pm

@ Girls

best recruitment post I’ve seen in a long time

bootney farnsworth

January 28th, 2012
12:22 pm

@ Lee

not sure about #1, but it does merit discussion. the fastest way to get someone to not take something seriously is to give it to them

#2-dead on. the real source of the problem.

bootney farnsworth

January 28th, 2012
12:24 pm

(tongue firmly in cheek here)

damn all those catholic, private, disadvantaged, minorities.
they get all the good stuff.

Sandy Springs parent

January 28th, 2012
12:37 pm

Yesterday, I volunteered at the Middle School College Fair. Many schools did not send of representative, just info. So Parent volunteers were at the tables. I was at the Table for Young Harris College. What would I say, it was the College where Former Gov. and Senator Zell Miller taught. It’s current president is Cathy Cox the fromer Secretary or State, not the Education Secretary that screwed up Math with Math 1,2,3 that your older Brothers and Sisters are complaining about.

I told them that the tuition room and board was only $29,000, which is a bargain for a Private School. I also told them they can still use up to the $4,000 Hope Scholarship against this tuition. I went on to tell them that I personally, had gone to a small Catholic College Undergraduate, and felt strongly that going to a small private college was better. I told them you have small classes, you actually get professors teaching classes.

I also made sure to tell any minority student black or hispanic ( which is about 70% at this school). That they want to avoid any “college” that advertises on the TV. I told them those were “for profits” and would take their financial aid, and run. I told them even if they graduated with a Nursing Asst. ( or the name dejour) they would only make $10/hr and be stuck in debt. I told them that at a real non-profit private college their is ussually more financial aid options like small scholarships and Grants that they can put together and go at minimal cost. I gave them the example of how my cousins daughter who lives in North Carolina, went to a private college for free by applying for every $500-1000 scholarship their was. She also agreeded to teach in a low income school district for 3 years first. She is teaching in Wake County Schools. But she graduated with no debt, and it would have cost her $16,000 a year as an in-state student to go to the Univ. of North Carolina.

BS Aplenty

January 28th, 2012
12:39 pm

When I attended undergraduate school some 30 years ago, you could pay for 15 quarter-hours (a full load – but not a boatload…) of tuition for LESS THAN $200. No BS – ask my wife. I graduated from undergraduate school with ZERO in student loans mostly by a) living at home, b) working part-time through school and c) paying tutition of only $200 per quarter. When I earned my MBA from the same fine Georgia insitution, I lived in a one-bedroom apt. carved from an old house ($195/mo), worked part-time, was a graduate assistant and graduated with less than $700 in student loans.

The federal and state government get involved in people’s lives ostensibly with the most altruistic motive that liberal “fairness” can muster. However, much like the calamity caused by government intervention in the mortgage industry through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, such government fairness ultimately results in asset bubbles, subsequent crashes and taxpayer bailouts (RE: FNMA & FHLMC). And I really do agonize over the tremendous loss of home equity caused by government mortgage lending policies and wonder how many retirees and near-retirees can manage having lost their home equity nest eggs.

In this case of government invention in secondary education, like HOPE, it appears that many of these politicians haven’t learned anything about the unintended consequences of their fairness policies except this: ultimately, they will create an unsustainable bubble is the secondary education market via the student loan industry. This I fear is the next great arena for debt defaults AND taxpayer bailouts.

P.S. – you cannot eliminate government guaranteed students loan debt via bankruptcy. Look for the bankruptcy laws to be changed prior to the next taxpayer bailout.

Maureen Downey

January 28th, 2012
1:07 pm

@Themis, I am not sure that is true as the rise of merit aid — many bright kids I know were routinely offered “presidential scholarships” at almost every college for which they gained acceptance — has been dramatic in the last decade. Most merit aid — the “presidential scholarship” sorts that kids get for high GPAs or SATs — seems to be about $10,000 a year, which is a drop in the bucket at schools that cost $52,000 for tuition, room and board. But I think it is offered as an incentive.


January 28th, 2012
2:10 pm

@Maureen, so true. As the parent of a high school senior I’m currently very well aware of the gap between costs and awards. A scholarship of say, $20,000 per year may sound thrilling, but if the cost of tuition, room and board is $52,000 then the student and family are still faced with having to come up with $32,000 per year. That’s a huge or impossible amount for the vast majority of families.


January 28th, 2012
2:21 pm

@Lee makes excellent points. His ideas should be seriously considered by those in the legislature.

There’s no incentive for college kids to use cost of college as a part of their selection process when it’s all paid for. I have two going to college in the next two years and have told them they will have to pay for their college up front, then we’ll reimburse them for grades of B or higher and an equal percentage of fees, etc up to the dollar amount we’ve put aside for their college.

As for the Zell Miller scholarship, it should also include SAT or ACT scores or require AP or joint enrollment courses in it’s eligibility requirements. Just because someone is one of the top two in their class does not mean they are college material. Many high schools in GA do not have the rigorous academics to ensure success in college.

No academic scholarship should pay for remedial courses.


January 28th, 2012
2:24 pm

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. It’s only fair.


January 28th, 2012
2:36 pm

@fcs and bootney farnsworth,
I have posted twice that 32 percent keep HOPE after 90 hours and 52 percent graduate within six years. My information comes from the Governor’s Office on Student Achievement. Those are for 29009-2010 since current data isn’t available yet. Check it out.


January 28th, 2012
2:42 pm

I have said the same thing about making HOPE a reimbursement program. I don’t understand why it is so difficult to do that.

Retired Educator

January 28th, 2012
2:54 pm

The problem with HOPE is that grades have become meaningless. Every mediocre student can achieve a B average in most Georgia schools today. As a retired educator with a large metropolitan school system, I saw first hand how bogus teacher’s grade books can be. I frequently saw grade books that had homework counted as 40% of the total grade and only one or two assignments turned in. I also had some teachers simply type in the final grade without any meaningful assessment. I am sure that my fellow educators reading this will say that this can’t happen today. Unfortunately, it can and is happening. The only way to save HOPE is to tighten up standards. Students should have standardized test scores counted as part of the admission process. Also, difficulty of selected classes should be factored into the equation. You can’t tell me that a student who is taking 2 AP classes along with 3 gifted classes or honors classes should be equal to a student taking tech. classes. It’s no wonder that according to the Gates Foundation that in Georgia out of every 100 students only 6 graduate from college and over one third need remedial courses when entering as freshman. The powers that be in the legislature want to reinstate an income cap on HOPE. Unfortunately, this will only allow the most unprepared students access to the scholarship. Two teachers with master’s degrees whose children have excelled by taking all AP and higher level classes would be disqualified because their parents make to much money. Both of my kids went through UGA on HOPE scholarships. My wife and I both worked full time and had a decent income but by no means were we considered upper class. Even with our moderate income, our children would be excluded from any scholarship money. I see this move to dumb down the HOPE program as one more example of the politically correct mentality that has become prevalent in our society today.


January 28th, 2012
2:56 pm

Sorry to bore you with numbers but this is needed for perspective.
The inflation adjusted income of $100k in 1994 is about $152K so $140K seems to be a reasonable number, although $66K in 1993 equates to $103K in 2011 dollars.
My concern is how are they going to determine a family’s income? Will it be actual salary or will it be W-2 wages? We have health care premiums as well as 401-K contributions deducted from our pay.
ow will that figure into the calculation of our income for HOPE purposes?
Also what about family size and situation? In 2007, when my oldest started looking for scholarships, many scholarships had income caps of around $50K without regard to family size. A family of 2, 3 or 4 at $50K is no more financially needy than a family of 6 w/income of $75K.

As Lee has said, the real answer to the HOPE troubles is a reimbursement plan. It should first be awarded as a loan converted to a grant if grades are acceptable.

BS Aplenty

January 28th, 2012
3:05 pm


Your second point about the rise in college costs is analagous to the rapid rise in housing prices that occured during the 1990’s through mid-2007. The period when mortgage policies were being liberalized in government. At that time you could get housing money a lot more easily particularly when FNMA and FHMLC liberalized their mortgage purchase policies. Then, the wall of mortgage money (student loan money?) was cut off. What happened? Hous ing prices collapsed, mortgage defaults rise, MANY people who purchased homes during that period found themselves underwater on their mortgage and pondering what to do. Answer, walk away. Even people who purchased the right way still suffered from price collapse and had a hard financial choice to make. I applaud those who have continued to honor their debts and understand those who made a rational financial decision and walked away.

What will happen in the secondary education market is similar: you’ll see enrollments decline and a shrinkage in the funds flowing from students and the question is where will the additional money to fund operations. There will be significant downsizing at the secondary education level unless we can “import” students.

And the students who graduate with $50 – $80,000 in student loan debt and a liberal arts degree will not be able to afford a mortgage, new car or any significant consumer expenditures and will likely be looking at Mom and/or Dad to provide living quarters just when the value of Mom and Dad’s home has tanked.

All thanks to government intervention.


January 28th, 2012
3:35 pm

Sen. Carter is proposing another new entitlement program. And many of those ‘needy’ students who would get the free HOPE ride, e.g. Atlanta Public Schools grads, are in college on the strength of ersatz high school grades and diplomas based on cheating and social promotion.

How about this quid pro quo Senator: every year my kid is disqualified due to means testing I get all the free Georgia Lottery tickets I want?


January 28th, 2012
3:38 pm

Why does everybody assume that these students who are legally adults, has to have their tuition paid by parents? An excellent student shouldn’t be penalized because his or her parents yearly earnings. The HOPE scholarship should be based on academics and the SAT/ACT. No one student should be entitled to it, they should earn it….period!

Hillbilly D

January 28th, 2012
3:47 pm

A year later, flush with lottery revenues, the state eliminated any cap on HOPE.

There’s your problem in a nutshell. It’s typical of state government, or has been in my lifetime, to think that when times are good, it’s never going to end and spend every available dime. They never think about saving for a rainy day. I don’t guess they’ll ever learn to put something up in times of plenty; the lean times are always sure to come.


January 28th, 2012
4:11 pm

Does Jason Carter actually believe there’s any chance whatsover that state Republicans will act in a responsible manner? If so, I guess he hasn’t been in the State Legislature very long.

Hillbilly D

January 28th, 2012
4:18 pm

Jason Carter is the grandson of a Governor and President; I’m sure he knows how the game is played.


January 28th, 2012
5:09 pm

Everyone continually overlooks the obvious problem with HOPE: The original percentage of sales of lottery tickets that was to be used for HOPE was 40% or more. After the first year, “A year later, flush with lottery revenues, the state eliminated any cap on HOPE.” Everyone ignores the fact that each year the Georgia Lottery Commission takes a higher percentage (approved by the legislature)and cuts the percentage going to HOPE until now they only paid out 13% of sales into HOPE. These figures were provided from the Governor’s office and printed numerous times in the AJC during 2011. Cut the crooks at Ga. Lottery Commision down to 10% like it should be and they won’t have those $250,000 (and larger) annual bonuses for most employees. Then once again HOPE will be flush with lottery revenues.

the prof

January 28th, 2012
5:20 pm

income cap = a new republican voter.


January 28th, 2012
5:46 pm

Maureen or any of the other advocates for the cap:

How much money would it actually save to have a cap and would this savings actually ensure the Hope is solvent and can pay the bills? How many children are receiving Hope right now that have parents making over the income limit? Also, how would Carter’s plan handle divorced families income? Parents are no longer obligated to support children beyond the age of 18, so what if one parent chooses not to contribute, does that income count like it does with the Pell grant?


January 28th, 2012
5:55 pm

I disagree with the cap. If it is a merit award, it should go to ALL who show the required merit. However, the definition of merit here is a bit flimsy. ALL HOPE scholarships should be tied to ACT/SAT. Otherwise, we are getting too many pigs in a poke in addition to the rough gems. And let’s award the HOPE to a different Lottery Corporation, since this one seems unable to do the math and correctly remit to the fund the correct amount! Ms. Downey, does the Lottery Corp or its administrators make significant contributions to the election of state officials? Time for a different group to move in and take over!

The logic has been too circular, too self-serving: We need to keep back more of the lottery proceeds instead of remitting to education so we can sweeten the pot with more winnings. These additional winnings/participation result in us (the Lottery Corp executives) getting more bonuses–by using the money that should be going to students to sweeten the pot!! HOw can this be allowed?


January 28th, 2012
5:58 pm


January 28th, 2012
5:55 pm

I disagree with the cap. If it is a merit award, it should go to ALL who show the required merit. However, the definition of merit here is a bit flimsy. ALL HOPE scholarships should be tied to ACT/SAT. Otherwise, we are getting too many pigs in a poke in addition to the rough gems.

We agree on another issue. Is the world coming to an end?


January 28th, 2012
6:47 pm

I know several OUT OF STATE kids who are on HOPE. Bump them off first.


January 28th, 2012
6:49 pm

The Democrats ran this state so poorly for so long; that it seems that people will now allow the Republicans to do anything. We need a 2 party state.

A dad

January 28th, 2012
6:52 pm

Hmmm, pay out more than is taken in. Sure sounds like the Democratic gov’t model to me.

Atlanta Mom

January 28th, 2012
6:57 pm

At this point, all I want is a formula that will be in effect for the next ten years so parents can plan.


January 28th, 2012
7:11 pm

Republican fraud conservatives and virulent racists:

You guys truly are pieces of work. First off, HOPE is an entitlement program whether it is means tested or not. Social Security and MediCare are not means tested (everyone over a certain age gets it) and it is still very much an entitlement program that is running us broke. And surprise, surprise: the Tea Party “Patriots” and other folks who allegedly want “smaller government” very much want their Social Security and MediCare, and only want the size of government reduced via programs that they don’t benefit from.

Second, the idea that “middle class students need help because poor students already get enough grants” IS A LIE. IT IS A LIE. First of all, middle class students in other states seem to be able to pay for college just fine without Hope. If middle class folks in Missouri, Texas, Michigan, Ohio etc. can pay for their own kids’ education, Georgia folks can too. Second, the grants that low income students get are NOWHERE NEAR enough to pay for college. Pell and SEOG grants only pay for a fraction of the cost of going to college; low income kids have to borrow the rest. Even then, many of them can’t afford college.

Third, it is amazing how so many “conservatives” are so quick to play the race card at the drop of a hat. Well bigots, the truth is that there are far more low income whites attending college in Georgia than low income blacks. There are also far more whites getting HOPE and taking remedial courses than blacks. Further, it isn’t just the mostly black urban school systems that are low quality and do a bad job of preparing kids for college: plenty of mostly white rural systems have the same problem. And for all the talk about how black kids are unqualified for college but have been socially promoted or what have you, IT HAS LONG BEEN DOCUMENTED THAT SUBURBAN SCHOOLS BEGAN INFLATING GRADES LIKE CRAZY SO AS MANY OF THEIR GRADUATES WOULD QUALIFY FOR HOPE AS POSSIBLE. That is the dirty little secret that nobody talks about.

Republican “conservatives” don’t want to cut government programs in general, just the government programs that they don’t benefit from and don’t like. What you guys really want is a return to the old south, where the government acted to benefit some people but gave everybody else the short end of the stick. Well, that is why this black man is a Ron Paul supporter. So what if Ron Paul wrote a few racist newsletters 20 years ago … I’d take that over how Newt Gingrich treated his ex-wives (and how he profiteered off Freddie Mac) any day. (Plus Paul is a doctor, unlike Gingrich who has never had a real job, he has been a professor, a politician or a lobbyist all his life). Paul is a REAL small government guy who will end ALL these programs that “conservative” hypocrites only want to primarily benefit themselves. Only Paul’s agenda would result in a level playing field – or close to it – for everyone, black, white, rich, poor, urban, suburban, rural, whoever. Of course, it still wouldn’t be perfect, but no system is perfect because despite what the liberals and the neocon hypocrites tell you,people aren’t perfect. But it would be a lot better than what we have now. And yes, Ron Paul would absolutely HAMMER Obama in November, as he is a great debater and doesn’t have the string of ethics problems that afflict Romney or Gingrich.

But you all don’t want a REAL conservative like Paul. You want a fake conservative who will continue to use the government to your benefit while keeping everybody else down. Newt Gingrich will give it to you, Romney will too if that is what he has to do in order to get elected, so you fraud Jim Crow neocons will vote for one or the other. And another thing about Ron Paul: he won’t go start a war in Iraq so he can give hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money to his buddies in the defense and oil industries like Halliburton, the Carlyle Group, Blackwater, etc. All that money was handed away in NO BID CONTRACTS, most of it for WORK THAT WAS NEVER DONE. And none of you Jim Crow neocons complained, because so long as it is your own people ripping off the Treasury you don’t care. Not a single “Tea Party Patriot” has stated that we should prosecute Bush, Cheney and all those contractors for ripping off hundreds of billions of dollars, but mention Solyndra and the same folks go nuts.

Ugh. In conclusion, HOPE is an entitlement program, and I really want for it to be ended if for no reason other than ending the lottery, because relying on gambling revenue is HORRIBLE economic and social policy. I am a former lower income person who paid for my own education without a dime of lottery money, and for that I am very glad. (One of the jobs that I worked to pay for my school was at a convenience store in a bad neighborhood, and 95% of the sales were lottery tickets, alcohol, tobacco and pornography. Ugh! I was VERY GLAD to leave that place for a more respectable job unloading trucks. Lottery money is just a step above blood money.) And GO RON PAUL. End ALL these entitlement programs so this “using the power of the government to help me and harm you” stuff will end. First the Department of Agriculture policies crushed the family farms in this state, and now HOPE is doing the same thing to high school and college education. Government is for protecting a country from being invaded, and for catching and punishing criminals. Anything beyond that, government does more harm than good. Fraud neocons, go read Romans 13 … it says government should stop evil (meaning criminals and invading armies) not pay your kids college when A) you have the means to pay for it yourself and B) you don’t need a college degree to earn a living – and a good one – anyway. So go Ron Paul, and end all these welfare programs, entitlement programs, all of them!

Atlanta Mom

January 28th, 2012
7:21 pm

Whatever the legislature decides in April, it should be “written in stone” for four years for students entering college in the fall.
It is unfair for students who may have decided upon a Georgia school because of HOPE to now have it pulled out from under them to the tune of $10,000 a year.

The Phantom

January 28th, 2012
7:28 pm

Hey Jason, I’ll tell you personally the next time I see you, but since you don’t seem to hang out with many folks since you got elected that may be awhile.

Your idea of a cap on the Hope is something I would expect from someone who is trying to make a name for himself in the Democrat Party. (Oh wait, seems you already got that covered…). Blame the Republicans, engage in class warfare, so that you can be a shining star to all those future Democrats. That is how the process works, right? Convince the young that only the Government (and the Democrats) care about their needs?

You want ideas on how to save Hope? Here is a few:

-No person who must take remedial classes upon entry to the University system can receive Hope. Period. The Hope is supposed to be a SCHOLARSHIP for above average students, not an ENTITLEMENT so that everyone can try out college.

-Speaking of trying out college, why don’t you charge those people who come to the university for their freshman year, spend all year doing beer funnels and smoking bowls, and end up losing Hope with their 1.5 GPA? What are you doing to re-coup those cost? This may be a small population, but it does exist. Nothing like subsidizing failure…

-As others have already alluded to, pleas investigate the University System and ask them to explain their increases in tuition, student fees, housing, etc since the Hope was instituted. It is fairly easy to raise your rates when you basically have free-money coming in, a la Hope. You want to decrease costs? Stop building all of the “like to haves”. They’re supposed to be getting educated, not living in their own reality show.

-In the same vein, take a look at the text-book racket. From anecdotal discussions, this seems to be where many students have problems. I know I purchased many books that were $150+ at the beginning of the semester, and you were lucky if you received $50 for it later. It’s also amazing how many professors write their books that end up being used. Really, does basic math formulas change? Does Ancient History change year to year? How about grammar? Why should it cost over $500 a semester in books alone?

-Unless I am mistaken, there is nothing in the Georgia constitution that says the state of Georgia must give free college education to high school students. A scholarship is like a bonus at work: you hope that the combination of your hard-work and your company’s success will allow your bonus to be paid, but there is nothing that says the bonus MUST be paid. Politicians like yourself need to stress that Hope is a scholarship, not a guaranteed pay-out. I know it’s not in a politician’s nature to tell the truth, but please try.

On a more abstract discussion, please tell us Jason Carter why you & your party hate successful people? Why do you hate the middle class? Why must successful people be treated differently & penalized by the government? Aren’t we supposed to be all equal citizens under the law? Why must Democrats always try to keep folks down on the plantation, where only the benevolent master (government) can help them? I have a whole group of folks at work who would love to speak with you about the Hope and ask you these same questions.

(*BTW, I watched your youtube video where you pitched this speech in the Gold Dome. I would just like to say that I have never heard that Southern accent on you before. What the hell was that? Playing to the camera/audience? Or do you really slip into a Southern accent every now and then?)