Petition to Save the Hope Scholarship

There is a grass roots petition started to call into question the funding for the hope scholarship.  I have attached the story of the article for the petition.  For my part, I don’t necessarily agree with the views of Better Georgia; however, as I’ve written in previous articles, I am also concerned about the funding levels for the hope scholarship.  While the Better Georgia petition is focusing on increased funding for the scholarship, I am more concerned about the rising cost of education in the state of Georgia.  As noted in previous articles, tuition and fee costs in Georgia have risen much higher than the inflation rate and continue to rise.  I would like to see Governor Deal and the legislature work on lowering spending costs.  I don’t think increasing funding is necessarily the correct solution.


Here is the petition email that was sent…

Can you believe Gov. Deal has once again refused to save
Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship?

We all know the HOPE Scholarship is in crisis. In just two years, the
HOPE Scholarship will pay less than 50 percent of tuition. We know
families are struggling to keep up with the growing costs of college.
And we know Gov. Deal has repeatedly promised to do nothing.

That’s why on Saturday, with nearly 100,000 people — including
Gov. Deal — gathered in Athens for the Georgia Bulldog’s home
opener, Better Georgia was determined to start a conversation.

And we did.

Better Georgia hired a plane to fly the message, “GOV DEAL BROKE
HOPE. TXT FIXIT to 30644″ over UGA’s Sanford Stadium
before the game. Those who responded were directed to a petition that
now has more than 8,300 signatures.

WATCH: Atlanta’s 11Alive covered the story, and you can watch
the video here:

From the stadium, Gov. Deal’s spokesperson called us names and
claimed the governor had done the best he could do.

Here’s Gov. Deal’s response to Better Georgia:

“This is paid for by a leftist organization that believes there’s no
end to other people’s money. The Legislature saved HOPE from
bankruptcy. The state uses the money available to aid students who
worked the hardest and earned it.”

While Gov. Deal continues to make excuses and play politics by
dividing the HOPE Scholarship into a “left vs. right” argument, most
voters simply want to save the HOPE Scholarship. In three statewide
surveys in nine months, Better Georgia has heard voters say they want
to save the scholarship and even support a single solution.

Compare Gov. Deal’s response to the students who want him to get
to work to save the HOPE Scholarship.

Here’s just some of what students have said:

* “I lost about 20 percent of what I was getting my first
year of college. I’m working two jobs now to keep up, but
it’s tough.” (Tom ‘Doc’ Bell)
* “I thought I was getting a full ride for my whole college
career, and suddenly the rug is pulled out from underneath me,
and I just don’t know what to do.” (UGA student
interviewed by 11Alive)
* “Thankfully, I don’t have younger brothers, but for
all the people I know who are younger than me, I feel bad.
Parents are going to have to put more and more to this to make
sure they get the education they need. (UGA student interviewed
by 11Alive)
* “I am a sophomore in high school right now, and in a few
years I plan to go to an in-state school. I am really relying on
the HOPE to be able to help me.” (Joseph Walker, Decatur)
* “Not sure why one of the first things our government tries
to cut back is in the education department. It is
disgusting.” (Cassandra Dunigan, Gainesville)
* “Please stop gambling with the lottery money. Our
kids’ future depends on it.” (Fran Latner,

Without the HOPE Scholarship, many students won’t make it to college.
And Georgia’s economy will be worse for that loss.

There’s no question that we have the Governor’s attention.
But now we need your help to tell Gov. Deal it’s past time for
him to roll up his sleeves and work to save the HOPE Scholarship.

Our goal is to gather at least 10,000 signatures on this online
petition and deliver those signatures, along with your comments to
Gov. Deal. By signing the petition, and asking others to do the same,
you’re joining us in saying that hard-working students in every
Georgia county are our priority, even if Gov. Deal thinks otherwise.

Take a moment and join us. Sign the petition:

And then share the petition with your friends via email, on Facebook
and on Twitter. Time is of the essence. By acting today, you can help
save HOPE for future generations.

Bryan Long
Executive Director
Better Georgia

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