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Posted by bryanlong on September 16th, 2012

When Gov. Deal took office, the HOPE Scholarship paid 100 percent of college tuition for Georgia students who worked hard and earned the award.

Now, after Gov. Deal pushed for reform, the HOPE Scholarship pays 87 percent of college tuition for those students who thought their hard work had earned a full ride.

In just three years, the HOPE Scholarship will pay only 50 percent or less of college tuition.

Sign the petition: Save Georgia's HOPE Scholarship

Although Gov. Deal and our legislators have insisted they will not address the problems facing the HOPE Scholarship program in the coming legislative session, a clear majority of voters want the program fixed.

That’s why on Saturday, with Gov. Deal and legislators in attendance, Better Georgia flew an airplane banner over Bobby Dodd Stadium in downtown Atlanta before the start of Georgia Tech’s football game. Thousands saw the message, “GOV. DEAL BROKE HOPE. TXT FIXIT to 30644.”

Since this banner first flew over the University of Georgia’s season opener three weeks ago, we’ve heard from thousands of Georgia students and families who are struggling to afford college. They want Gov. Deal to lead on this issue and save the HOPE Scholarship.

One fix might be to limit the HOPE Scholarship to students who come from families who couldn’t afford to pay for college otherwise. A family income cap would float up or down, depending on whether Georgia Lottery revenues rise or fall.

Other than implementing a family income cap, Gov. Deal could significantly increase revenue for the HOPE Scholarship by allowing the Georgia Lottery to pursue video lottery terminals, a solution that only requires action of the Lottery board.  That solution would fully fund HOPE for years to come and prevent the need for income caps.

What’s frustrating about Gov. Deal’s silence on the HOPE crisis is that he has so many options available to save the HOPE Scholarship.

But, instead, he continues to pick none-of-the-above.

That answer isn’t good enough for Georgia’s families.

Sign the petition: Save Georgia's HOPE Scholarship

Once you've signed, share the petition with your family and friends who depend on the HOPE Scholarship.

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Better Georgia is the state's fastest growing progressive advocacy organization. We are here to make sure our elected officials listen to Georgia families, small business owners and the people who work hard each day to improve our state. We fight to make sure elected officials pass sensible laws and policies that benefit everyone, not just corporations and the political elite.

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