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Sen. Sims sponsors HOPE bill

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

— Senate Bill 334 sponsored by Sen. Freddie Powell Sims, D-Dawson, would eliminate an SAT requirement for the state's new Zell Miller program, which was launched last year by Gov. Nathan Deal to provide full tuition to the state's highest-achieving students. Instead, graduating seniors in the top 3 percent of every high school in Georgia would automatically qualify.

Senate Bill 335, sponsored by Sen. Jason Carter, D-Decatur, would erase a new 3.0 GPA requirement for technical college students receiving grant money through the HOPE program. The technical grants are different from the scholarship and tend to benefit students who are older and likely supporting families of their own.

Senate Bill 336, also sponsored by Carter, would reinstate a cap on family income for students to be eligible for HOPE, starting at $140,000 per family. A cap existed when the program began, but was quickly lifted after the lottery proved financially successful.

In addition to the two bills, Carter sponsored Senate Resolution 722, which would put to public vote a proposal to add a student representative to the state Board of Regents, which oversees the University System of Georgia and sets tuition.

The bills came as the state House and Senate higher education committees scheduled a joint meeting for Wednesday to discuss HOPE and the impact of last year's reforms, when Republican Gov. Nathan Deal asked lawmakers to reduce the program to keep it from going broke. The program, however, is still straining to meet demand amid soaring enrollment and tuition.

Comments

Sister_Ruby 2 years, 7 months ago

All these changes just remove the incentive for the truly high achievers in order to give the money to those who would not have qualified otherwise. This is what Democrats seem to want to do with the USA. Punish the highest achievers and reward those who don't deserve it.

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agirl_25 2 years, 7 months ago

Remember tho, these are only bills that have been sponsored. Gov. Deal asked lawmakers to reduce the program to keep it from going broke but it is still straining to meet demand because of high enrollment and tuition costs.

Senate Bill 336 would reinstate a cap on family income for students to be eligible for HOPE..

Senate Bill 335 would eliminate a 3.0 GPA requirement for technical college students receiving grant money through HOPE.

Senate Bill 334 would eliminate the SAT requirement for the Zell Miller program, which provides full tuition to the state's highest-achieving students. Instead, graduating seniors in the top 3 percent of every high school in Georgia would automatically qualify.

Senate Bill 334 was sponsored by Sen. Freddie Sims of Dawson so if you have questions or comments I suppose you can contact the Senator's offices. Sen. Jason Carter of Decatur introduced the others, 335 and 336. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution of Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012, that was the last I read about them.

I agree, I am tired of seeing HOPE money wasted on those who do not deserve it. I wish more people would get involved in contacting elected officials and let their voices be heard. Doesn't matter how you vote, Democrat, Republican or Independent.......let your voice be heard. We are all in the same ship and we will all go down together. Sink or swim or have a lifejacket nearby.

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