Students react to Gov. Deal's HOPE plan - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Students react to Gov. Deal's HOPE plan

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

For the first time in a few years, state lawmakers are actually considering additions to education instead of cuts.

Governor Nathan Deal plans to ask state lawmakers to increase HOPE Scholarship funding.

The Governor says lottery revenues, which fund the program, are growing.

Governor Deal says he plans to propose at least a three percent increase in HOPE Scholarship funds, during this legislative session.

"There's just so many costs attributed to going to college now and that three percent to help with their tuition costs, that's three percent more money that would help them that they can use that money to buy for say books and other miscellaneous costs," said SWGTC President Dr. Craig Wentworth.

"Some students are not able to provide the money and have to take out student loans which makes them fall into a bigger debt than what they already started with. The semester has all of its troubles let alone and they don't need even more burdens during the semester," said SWGTC Vet Tech Student Willie Howard.

Two years ago, budget restraints forced the state to make drastic cuts to the HOPE program.

Howard says reversing some of those cuts would be a big help for students like him. "I am a single parent and I have a child and children are expensive and you have to take that into consideration. And some people live by themselves and they have to make the best of what they can."

Wentworth says more money for the program could allow for more students to go to college. "Over the years the HOPE Scholarship, HOPE Grant Program has allowed many many students to attend higher ed institutions that they normally wouldn't have been able to without that help."

State lawmakers will consider the Governor's HOPE plan during the General Assembly session that starts Monday.

Lottery revenue also pays for the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Governor Deal hopes to add 10 more days to the pre-k calendar bringing it back to a full school year.

 

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