GOP: Senate Democrats have a plan for HOPE. It’s called bankruptcy

The governor’s office disagreed with State. Sen. Jason Carter’s HOPE piece last week. Here is a response written by state Rep. Carl Rogers, R-Gainesville, who chairs the House Higher Education. (If you can, read the Carter piece as this was written in response to it.)

By Carl Rogers

When researchers say that Americans are falling behind on math skills, we can assume they must have tested Georgia’s state Senate Democrats.

A year late to the party, Senate Democrats have discovered that Lottery revenue can no longer cover the full scholarship that HOPE once offered to all students with at least a B average.

“According to the Georgia Student Finance Commission, by 2016 – in just four years – HOPE will pay for less than half the cost of college,” Sen. Jason Carter, D-Decatur, wrote in the AJC last week. So with Senate Democrats worried about the state of HOPE in four years, they have presented a curious solution: Spend loads more money now.

It’s difficult to even respond to such a proposal, other than to suggest a remedial math class.

This recklessness contrasts starkly with the sober, program-saving changes enacted last year. In the 2011 legislative session, a bipartisan coalition of responsible legislators took action to save the HOPE scholarship. After serving a full generation of outstanding students, HOPE was in trouble. In 2010, for the first time since the Lottery began, expenditures outpaced revenues – and it was only going to get worse.

Working together, House Democrats joined Republicans to rescue the HOPE scholarship and our pre-k program from the brink of disaster. The Enduring HOPE law covers full tuition for Zell Miller Scholars, students who attain a 3.7 GPA and a 1200 SAT. All other funds are divided among students who keep a B average. Like any good entitlement reform, this directly tied expenditures to revenues and it preserved Georgia’s standing as the state with the most generous scholarship program in the nation.

When the Enduring HOPE bill passed the House last year, Senate Democrats went into hiding. At the eleventh hour, they finally appeared – wet fingers raised high into the winds — with proposals that did nothing to stem the tide of red ink.

The fact is, if we had followed Carter’s timorous lead last year, no one would be discussing spending projections for 2016 because the program would go bankrupt in the budget year that begins July 1.

It’s ironic that Carter criticizes the current HOPE plan for dipping into its reserve fund, when last year he called for spending an additional $240 million out of that account to grandfather in all current college students and qualified high school seniors.

The contradictions don’t stop there.

The senator criticizes the Zell Miller Scholarship as too expensive even as his plan calls for expanding the pool of Miller Scholars by providing it to the top 3 percent of every high school. That’s unaffordable and it would create a quota system. The Carter Quota would undercut academic results by rewarding some less-qualified students while excluding higher performing students in other schools.

Carter asserts that we can cover the full tuition cost of all recipients if we impose a household income cap of $140,000. Baloney. A cap that high excludes only 6 percent of Georgia’s families from HOPE eligibility, according to the senator’s own numbers. While no economists have run the numbers, we know the cap would have to dip far below $100,000 per household to keep up with Carter’s Obama-like spending promises.

Even with all the debt Carter would run up, he would manage to destroy the merit-based system that rewards results and creates an incentive to keep our best and brightest in Georgia.

Last year’s reforms saved HOPE with eyes on the next generation. Senate Democrats would bankrupt HOPE with eyes on the next election.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

83 comments Add your comment

Sidney C

February 5th, 2012
2:41 pm

Dear Georgia Colleges:

Knock off the cash grab the you have been having with all the increases in these difficult times. You are killing the goose that laid the golden egg with your greed.

Political Mongrel

February 5th, 2012
2:49 pm

The big question: over the last decade, how much of HOPE money has been diverted to other destinations than college scholarships and Pre-K? I last saw figures about five years ago, and I was flabbergasted at the amount of pork and diversions to pet projects. I wonder how long HOPE would last if these diversions were outlawed.

Jay

February 5th, 2012
3:01 pm

Why tie HOPE to the families income? We already have monies tied to that. It is called PELL!!! Families with low income have been getting HOPE benefits that until last year covered 100% of education, and then they were given a PELL check that many went and spent on cell phones. It is the middle class family that makes just enough to not be eligible for any benefits that needs the help.

Mike, the smart guy

February 5th, 2012
3:07 pm

The real question: why are there democrats in politics? they are all dumb.

Winnie

February 5th, 2012
3:09 pm

Democrats always have the same predictable agenda.
1. Use the power of the state to redistribute income
2. Reinforce income distinctions as though they were permanent whenever possible
3. Expand spending as fast as possible.
4. When the money runs out blame the productive and raise taxes
5. When the economy suffers from democrat leadership, nationalize more and more of of the productive sector until everyone is equally miserable.

Jason Carter is just the next in a line of demagogues. After the AJC stops giving him his fifteen minutes of fame he will go back to being a back benching socialist.

PEE OWED

February 5th, 2012
3:10 pm

And all we hear is that, Colleges and Universities are raising their tuition. GOVERNOR DEAL NEEDS TO GET A GRIP ON THEIR COSTS, MAKE YOUR BOARD OF REGENTS AND PROFESSORS TAKE FURLOW DAYS JUST LIKE OUR TEACHERS.

Down In Albany

February 5th, 2012
3:11 pm

Jay @ 3:01…you hit the nail on the head.

Atlanta Native

February 5th, 2012
3:11 pm

With one child starting college in the fall, hearing all of this infuriates me. I have heard about the “pet” expenditures (new public TV building??) that have come out of HOPE “scholarship” funds over the years. It’s just another example of the “system” screwing” the real middle class. It is an effing joke how much money the FAFSA says I should have to contribute to college education. The HOPE was the ONLY “scholarship” money that my hard working, studious child “qualifies” to receive.

Tammy

February 5th, 2012
3:19 pm

The HOPE scholarship is a wonderful thing if it pays 100% or 70%…it’s free money for school that wasn’t there 20 years ago…people getting it should be happy with what they are given.

Not surprised

February 5th, 2012
3:22 pm

If I flew down here from Mars, I would think that Hope was a full scholarship; just like the one they give to a D+ student who can run a 4.3 forty.
My daughter received Hope for four years. Yes, we are 12,000.00 less poor because of it but it has never been more than a supplemental fund. The Bill Gates scholarship; now that would be worth fighting over.

Jethro BoWiseaton

February 5th, 2012
3:22 pm

Everybody wants a handout so what do you get for HOPE scholarships? Inflated high-school grades where a honor student in high-school has to take remedial reading and writing courses in college and less then half graduate with HOPE scholarships. What does HOPE get on the college level, inflated administrator (Deans, board of regents personnel, chancellor’s) and tenure professor salaries. Who really loses HOPE, the very people gambling was designed to help, the STUDENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Other Side from GM

February 5th, 2012
3:30 pm

WHere is the other side to this debate? The title and article indicate that Republicans are blaming the Democrats for the problems with Hope.

We should also see the other side — what Democrats feel is the problem with Hope.

For every genuine news article, each side needs a voice.

GM

George

February 5th, 2012
3:31 pm

HOPE has been the tail that wagged the dog for too many years. High schools and universities alike are inundated with students and parents who, regardless of income, feel they entitled to a free education. And teachers and administrators who get in their way better step aside. Education (like freedom) is not free. Having said all that, many universities are their own worst enemy. There are simply too many chiefs and not enough indians. Recent mergers designed to cut administrative costs will do no such thing and will actually increase those very costs in years to come.

catlady

February 5th, 2012
3:39 pm

The ultimate goal: for the legislature to get ahold of the HOPE money and use it however they want.

Regarding the post by Sidney C: I’d love to see the AJC do some real analysis of the (under)funding of the USG and how it has changed over the last 20 years, along with the availability and sources of financial aid over that period of time. (Hint: Look to UGA’s Institute of Higher Ed or an entity they might suggest for a cogent, full analysis).

Not surprised

February 5th, 2012
3:43 pm

Why are the morons that run this state so loyal to the lottery alone? Since people want to gamble their money away, I say let’s accommodate them. We could have horse racing, dog racing and casinos along the coast. Just like the lottery, each form of gambling would have to contribute a certain amount to the Hope scholarship fund.
Then we could have a true Hope scholarship.

Shar

February 5th, 2012
3:46 pm

Rep. Rogers is a disgusting little weasel.

HOPE is broke because he and his colleagues in the dominant Republican legislature have drained the education budget and given the stupendous tuition, room, board and “fee” increases a wink and a nod, allowing HOPE to be stripped to cover these costs while they slathered money that should have gone to education to “other priorities” – like tax abatements for their buddies and Oaky Woods-type payoffs for their own. An essay on why HOPE is broke that only seeks to blame Democrats is utterly repulsive. This is a key program that is crucial to current students and future employers in this state, and instead of owning up to the obvious truths Rogers just seeks to pass the buck and make political hay. He should crawl out the door.

The changes made last year are ineffective, inadequate and counterproductive. The proof of this is the continued high flunk out rate after the freshman year of the majority of HOPE recipients at the flagship (and most expensive) universities and the continued descent into bankruptcy of the HOPE program. Deal’s changes – for which Rogers was his water boy – have not worked, as many on this blog foretold.

Two elements have to be addressed:
-Stop the raiding of the HOPE funds by capping the annual rate of increase of the TOTAL COSTS of college attendance (which will prohibit the Regents and individual campuses from larding on false “fees” or escalating room and board to minimize their tuition hikes) and thereby cutting off legislators’ backdoor grab of the HOPE funds for other purposes, and
-Stop funding college costs for students who are unable or unwilling to do college work by changing the program to a reimbursement structure and adding an SAT and/or ACT threshold that indicates college readiness.

Students who are not eligible for HOPE at the most expensive campuses in the system could be given the award for remedial or introductory coursework at a community or technical campus, again on a reimbursement basis. That way, they are still attending college and receiving credit for satisfactory work while getting help in weaker areas, but at a more reasonable cost than those charged at UGA, Tech, GA State etc and having a financial liability to help motivate them to study.

Finally, the Georgia Lottery Corporation must be forced to turn over the entire allotment to the HOPE fund, and “make do” with the percentage that voters approved as their compensation for implementing the lottery. There is absolutely no excuse for the Legislature’s failure to force compliance in this area.

If further cuts in program availability must be made, they should come from means testing the Pre-K program. It is ridiculous to siphon college scholarship money for legal independent adults to pay for daycare for dependent children of the middle class.

An essay like Rogers’, which glosses over the failure of the program he rammed through while trying to shift blame and avoiding coming to grips with the politically unpleasant is nothing but a shabby attempt to shift responsibility and abandon HOPE of real reform. Disgusting.

joe

February 5th, 2012
3:48 pm

Maureen, what is your opinion on the debate?

outsider

February 5th, 2012
3:54 pm

Why does the link on ajc.com say “Dems will ruin HOPE”. Whether or not you agree with that statement, it certainly does not match this blog entry.

Shar

February 5th, 2012
3:54 pm

“While no economists have run the numbers”

Perhaps the most telling statement in Rogers’ essay. I am absolutely certain that economists have indeed run numbers – the entire Legislature has been very careful not to let the public see them. If we could see the effect of shifting to reimbursement only, of increasing eligibility requirements, of identifying the cohort most likely to flunk out and finding ways to better serve them while reducing losses, we could make more informed choices.

If the failed changes that Rogers hammered through last year were not based on economic analysis, no wonder they were so misguided and ineffective.

outsider

February 5th, 2012
3:55 pm

Actually, I’ll retract my response… guess that’s exactly what they’re claiming…

TripleDawg

February 5th, 2012
3:56 pm

For those of you who seem to not have a clue, an income cap would not only help poor students. It would actually be most beneficial to students coming from MIDDLE income families. When I arrived at UGA as a freshman in the fall of 2002, tuition and fees for a FULL-TIME student each semester totaled $1808. Ten years later, as a doctoral student, my tuition to be enrolled PART-TIME is twice that amount. Our state’s colleges and universities have been forced to raise tuition, because our governor has done nothing but cut state funding to said institutions. Middle-income families (especially those with multiple children in college) who do not qualify for additional aid simply cannot afford to keep up with rising college costs. Bringing back the income cap would certainly help those families, and it would ensure that HOPE was around to help other students the way it helped me. (Making sure that ALL lottery funds went to PreK and HOPE would help, too!)

Not surprised

February 5th, 2012
4:07 pm

Good post TD, but it makes too much common sense for the people who run this state.
I don’t know the magic number but if a student’s parent can truly afford to send their child
to college without the assistant of Hope, why not decline the offer so another kid who qualifies
may attend. In the big picture, we will all benefit in the future.

Real Athens

February 5th, 2012
4:09 pm

The HOPE program has two stated goals:

To offer academically superior students who would not otherwise be able to afford college the opportunity to receive higher education.

To offer an incentive to academically-superior students who can afford to attend college to remain in the state of Georgia, countering the “brain drain” phenomenon Georgia was experiencing prior to the program, when many talented students were attending universities in other states.

Previously, traditional-college-age students whose family income exceeded $100,000 per year were disqualified from the program.

Look to an investigation by a group most adversely affected by political shenanigans affecting HOPE funding. From one of these studies:
Percentage of Lottery Proceeds Transferred to the Lottery for Education Account
1994 …..33.8%
1995 …..36.1%
1996 …..35.0%
1997 …..35.0%
1998 …..33.0%
1999 …..30.0%
2000 …..30.8%
2001 …..32.9%
2002 …..31.2%
2003 …..30.6%
2004 …..30.6%
2005 …..29.3%
2006 …..27.7%
2007 …..26.8%
2008 …..26.4%
2009 …..25.6%
2010 …..26.1%

http://redandblack.com/2011/12/07/lottery-underfunds-hope-two-years-running/

http://redandblack.com/tag/hope-scholarship/

Roach

February 5th, 2012
4:09 pm

Yes, the legislature continues to strangle our universities–whose faculty have indeed taken furlough (i.e., work for free) days, but the universities have also been greedy and sloppy, behaving as if Hope was an endless pool of money. You can still build universities even when denied state support, but you need to ackowledge trade-offs. Sadly, no matter how irrelevant lottery funding for education becomes, we will still be stuck with a gambling industry that enriches itself at the expense of the Georgia’s most vulnerable.

HS Public Teacher

February 5th, 2012
4:10 pm

@Maureen – Why are you posting such an obvious political article here? Wording such as….

“Democrats joined Republicans” What? You mean the republicans didn’t join the democrats?

“Democrats went into hiding”. What? You mean they disappeared and vanished?

And so on, shows the obvious slant of such an article and does not deserve to be on an education blog.

Do you really want this to become a political blog?

ccatlanta

February 5th, 2012
4:15 pm

Shar is right on. And Sidney C hasn’t been paying attention. There’s no cash grab by Georgia’s colleges. The increased tuitions and fees by USG institutions have been necessary because the Legislature has been steadily decreasing the funding for Georgia’s colleges and universities at a time when more people than ever are enrolling (or at least trying to enroll) in higher education. When times are tough, demand for high education soars but the budget crunch that has characterized state government has impacted the USG as well as everybody else. Professors were furloughed along with other state employees and are still under austerity mandates. The increased tuitions/fees have simply been a stop-gap measure to replace missing state funds — missing from Republican budgets, a fact which Rogers fails to acknowledge. It’s no wonder there’s pressure on the HOPE funds — the Republican legislature has been spending money that used to go to higher education elsewhere in the budget and then blaming the decline in HOPE funding in the increased tuitions that they themselves forced.

Jaggar

February 5th, 2012
4:17 pm

Politicians have ruined America. It is all about them and they are so far out of touch with reality.
First, the state refuses to give the full percentage of lottery money into HOPE.
Second, HOPE has been losing money due to all the recipients who are failing classes for a full year before they are cut off. THAT is a huge problem.
Lastly, nothing will be done because people are not angry enough. You know who the politicians are who waste money. VOTE THEM OUT!
The laws the politicians make are to benefit themselves and not the public. It is horribly sad and I am dusgusted with all of them!

Barry

February 5th, 2012
4:27 pm

Parents are not obligated to pay for their adult (over 18) child’s secondary education. I was an only child in 1977 and received $600 from my parents to pay for my school loan, and that’s all I received. If you want to base eligibility on income, base it on the students income. BTW, there was no HOPE in the 70’s.

reality

February 5th, 2012
4:37 pm

sheepdawg – everyone should report this person for offensive and racially motivated posting

JR

February 5th, 2012
4:39 pm

There wasn’t any HOPE when my daughter graduated from HS in 1988 and I did not complain when I had to pay, so I don’t have any sympathy for any of you that want a free ride.

Disgusted

February 5th, 2012
4:41 pm

I just visited a university system school yesterday and was amazed and disgusted by what college students enjoy. Student centers overridden in luxury, gyms that look like spas that I could never afford on my salary, and other non-essentials that are draining HOPE. The legislators need to stop allowing the double digit tuition increases, halt the facilities improvements to educational need only, and give our students a university experience, not a luxury experience. The college experience should be somewhat bare boned. That way students are encouraged to get out sooner than later and start making their own way. HOPE could easily fund tuition if all colleges worried about was actually educating our students, not bathing them in luxury.

reality

February 5th, 2012
4:43 pm

Honest question: How is is legal to spend Hope money on anything other than the original programs it was sold to the citizens of GA for in the first place? The lottery was approved for the very specific purpose I thought…how is it legal to change that??

Not surprised

February 5th, 2012
4:52 pm

Unfortunately, I would guess one of the biggest benefactors of Hope is the advertising firms.

reality

February 5th, 2012
4:52 pm

Disgusted – Excellent point – Barry – good point I worked every little odd job I could to pay my way…additionally…when you earn something on your own and pay for it yourself……..you value it more. Unfortunately, politics isn’t always about doing the right thing is it? Ever noticed those toll boths that we were sold for a limited time…notice that time has come and gone but we still have to pay or we are somehow ‘the criminals’?

WAW

February 5th, 2012
4:58 pm

Thing about HOPE that’s most interesting, until the Republicans took over state government there was not problem. Duh? Then it Private Institutions, Investor Owners Centers for Higher Learning and of course ALL Georgians (including all rich, vested and lorded ruling glass). It was Good when Zell was a Democrat. It got when Zell became a Republican. Simple math 2 + Republicans = Sorry folks!

the idiot

February 5th, 2012
4:58 pm

Georgia Democrats have not controlled government in Georgia since 2003.

David Hoffman

February 5th, 2012
4:59 pm

The Georgia Lottery Corporation was not mandated to send the 35% of gross revenue to the state of Georgia. The 35% was a goal. The other goal was too maximize the total dollar amount sent to the state. The percentage goal was similar to other state lottery proceed percentage goals. It was too large. What lottery administrators found is that they needed to offer a lot of small and medium sized prizes to get people to spend a lot of money on the lotteries. It was better each year to get 25% of 200 million dollars(50 million dollars) than to get 35% of 100 million dollars(35 million dollars). If you take 35% of the revenue next year, you will have to decrease the number and amount of small and medium prizes. That means less enthusiasm for playing the lottery and thus less sales, which will lead you to a really large reduction in gross proceeds from the lottery.

The other things that lottery money was used for were technology grants to schools and educational institutions for educational satellite technology, internet connectivity, educational computer purchases, and computer networking hardware. Georgia Public Broadcasting got some money because they were providing educational television programming and they were scheduled to increase the amount of such programming with multi-casting using the ATSC digital broadcasting standard. They have met their commitment in this area. There are no more technology grants as the top priorities are HOPE and Pre-K which consume all available funds.

Joe Frank

February 5th, 2012
5:05 pm

There are several issues in play here.
HOPE- Simply return the program to it’s roots! Make it need based, and ONLY available if you attend a STATE PUBLIC college.
Quit funding PRE-K. That was a vote grab by the democrats.
Stop adding athletic programs, parking decks , etc and padding student fees to pay for it!

Not surprised

February 5th, 2012
5:11 pm

Since we’re at it, why not turn off all the hot water in the dorms, no heating and ac.
That’ll make them graduate in two years of less and look at all the saving :shock: :lol:

Blue Dog

February 5th, 2012
5:14 pm

It would be interesting to see how much money has been diverted from the original purpose of the HOPE with Georgia Lottery funds and how much would have been available now and for the future had State leaders stayed disciplined enough to hold it and invest it for this rainy day and make it a combined needs based but merit program. There is another article today about diversion of State bond funds to projects for which they were not voted or sold and Republicans with all the self-professed fiscal wisdom of Rep. Rogers have done absolutely NOTHING to solve that long known problem. He is like the pot calling the kettle black. A lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Lee

February 5th, 2012
5:20 pm

Democrat, Republican, blah, blah, blah. They are both part of the problem and neither have a clue how to climb out of the ditch.

A few things need to be addressed:

1. Make HOPE a reimbursement program. If you can get into college and pass a course, HOPE will reimburse you for the tuition you paid. Don’t pass, HOPE doesn’t pay.

2. From 2001 to 2010, UGA raised in-state tuition 156% and out of state tuition 138%. Meanwhile, the ten year rate of inflation was 27%. Makes me wonder how all those Phd types cannot control costs in their own house, but yet, we expect them to teach the business grad how to run a business. ROFLMAO

3. Google Ga Lottery and bonuses. In 2010, the bonuses for the top five were approaching half a million dollars, but yet, they have not attained the 35% payout ratio in fifteen years. Maybe the Ga Legislature should mandate they reach that goal before patting themselves on the back and stuffing their wallets.

But no, I fully expect the Ga Legislature to screw the pooch and they will not disappoint. After all, you’ve got better odds of hitting a Cash-5 than the Ga Legislature doing something sensible…

Winnie

February 5th, 2012
5:27 pm

Democrat is European for “I want you to hire me and pay me whatever I want but I don’t care that you can’t afford it because I’ve voted for you to be taxed into oblivion.”

Benny

February 5th, 2012
5:32 pm

I taught at a college in Valdosta and left after one year. I enjoyed the evening classes as these were adults trying to improve their lives. Day classes were disgusting. I had 31 on my roll and never had more than 6 show up for class unless it was test day. All the night students passed with excellent grades. Day class students, out of 31 only 11 passed. No assignments turned in, very low test grades and lots of whining. One student told me he deserved an A because he paid for the class. I had several parents that went over my head complaining I was unfair to their little baby. I wish there was a way to add maturity to the HOPE grant. Night school students all paid their own way. I can only assume that most day students were not paying their way. I’m guessing that most politicians were day students that never paid their own way. When nothing is invested then you have nothing to lose. As for the student union, what a waste of money. It appears to be a resort of some sort. I guess there is some competition going on between colleges for most perks. Not sure what this has to do with earning an education but it must be a really good idea for someone. I firmly believe the entire system is seriously broken.

cris

February 5th, 2012
5:40 pm

@Lee
I agree with you…BOTH parties are to blame – it has become more about “I’m not letting the other side get their way (regardless of whether it might actually be a good idea for the working folks) no matter what!” Our government was designed to compromise – that’s how all great relationships work – compromise! But now it’s just “say no” to the other guy…the parties of NO.

Ronald Millsaps

February 5th, 2012
5:43 pm

Cris– Actually, compromise is one of the most-poisonous things in our world because most things in our world need firm stances against.

Truth is absolute, not subjective, by the way, so promoting a nonexistent gray area is worthless.

Maureen Downey

February 5th, 2012
5:51 pm

@HS, I am running this response because I ran the Jason Carter piece here on the blog. Also, education is political — very much so. I wish it wasn’t, but politics influences a lot of education policy.
Maureen

Ronald Millsaps

February 5th, 2012
5:53 pm

Unfortunately, society and the “educational” system reject the factual comments I made, and we have a dumbing-down of the masses, i.e. pro-abortion propaganda, pro-gay propaganda, pro-pluralism propaganda, pro-evolution propaganda, etc., and our government is opting not to promote education but instead brainwash, all in an attempt to dumb down the masses, through the media, “entertainment” venues, “educational” system, even most churches.

We’re getting set up, as at least a significant part of the government wants to remove our most-basic rights and do so in sly fashion, attempting to maintain a cloak of patriotism while edging our nation closer and closer to Nazi Germany status, and legalizing abortion was not only a huge step toward this goal but also an action that led to more deaths over the typical three-year span than Hitler ever performed. We’re getting lied to buy most, i.e. the medical world, Washington, the FDA, etc., and these very people allegedly are our allies. We’re seeing more and more a push toward one-world government. “Community” is a red-flag term, as are “diversity”, “tolerance”, “coexist”, “networking”, etc..

We don’t have George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, etc. in Washington anymore, folks, and this world has a lot of people with at least the guise of influence and agendas that aren’t about edifying anyone. On the contrary, we’re under attack, and so is our Constitution. If you’re not seeing signs of what I’m talking about, you’re not paying attention.

Ronald Millsaps

February 5th, 2012
5:53 pm

Jim Tavegia

February 5th, 2012
5:53 pm

When budgets get tight the legislature looks to revenue sources. One state passed a lottery with the promise that the money would fund education. As soon as it passed the Dem controlled legislature put the money in the general fund. They had spent the state into the red and had to fix it somehow. You will never fix the system until you throw the bums out. That will never happen either, because it is not YOUR rep that is bad it is the other guy.

The real issue is that Hope is one third what we spend locking people up in GA. It is now nearly 10% of the budget. If you added every dime spent on law enforcement and all the costs for courts the monies are staggering. Most of these inmates when to public school somewhere, some finished, most did not earn diplomas or even get close to one. The students who come to school, pay attention, actually bring paper and pencil to class, listen when the teacher is talking, perform all assignments on time all the while their cell phone is put away and do not bother the person sitting next to them.

Then you can deal with the other 1/3 to 1/4 of the class who won’t shut up, listen to the teacher, put pencil and paper on their desk when asked, turn their darn cell phone off and stop texting their friends during class, don’t turn in assignments, and sit and talk to their neighbor while the teacher is presenting material in class. There is a 25% probability your child is one of these. I know, shocking isn’t it. If there was video shot in the classroom some parents would be embarrassed. Or maybe not. Do not think for one moment I am joking about this. I am not. Respect is gone. This is the age of entitlement and the students think that what ever they want to do at any time is just fine.

Joe

February 5th, 2012
5:57 pm

Senate Democrats have a plan for HOPE. It’s called bankruptcy

May be the dumbest title in the history of the AJC! I am an independent but the repubs are ruining education/hope in GA! This is happening on their watch and they have the majority vote on everything. The repubs haven’t funded education like the QBE law says ever. Did you read that correctly, ever! Both parties are ruining our state. It is like saying Obama who I don’t love either is responsible for the economy when Bush was the worst president of all time and drove us into this mess yet when the jobless rate drops it is phony math. This is funny! The last 2 governors are weak and caused most of this too. How about a cash cow casino in downtown Atlanta to help the economy, hope and the state. Nope says Deal as other states get the cash!