The HOPE scholarship was established in 1993 and was one of the main reasons the lottery was introduced in Georgia.
With high hopes of educating our young people in Georgia schools, the HOPE scholarship has truly been a success.
But HOPE has fallen on hard times, largely because the state’s lottery is not keeping up with expectations, so there’s not enough money to fund HOPE.
This year, the scholarship is projected to fall $243 millions in arrears. Next year the projection is a $317 million shortfall.
The HOPE scholarship has been one of Georgia’s great success stories. We are sure a good percentage of you who are reading this have in one way or another been touched by this program’s success.
There is a clamor to enact a tax to help raise the money to keep the scholarship going. Gov. Nathan Deal is against this, and so are we.
There is also much talk of gutting the scholarship, and basically rendering this successful and needed program worthless.
Instead of cutting HOPE, may we suggest that Gov. Deal and our representatives take a hard look at what it takes to operate the lottery and make some major cuts there.
It’s interesting to us that the cost of running the lottery has risen over the last few years at such a rate that the state’s take of lottery funds has dropped considerably.
HOPE is important to the growth and development of the Georgia economy. It needs to be saved and nurtured by all means except on the back of Georgia taxpayers.
The management of the lottery is a good place to start gutting.