To Governor Deal and anyone else who wants to cut HOPE


    Cut the excessive TV ads for the lottery  - not HOPE!


     Lose the ridiculously overplayed Ducks-on-a-plane ad, the Grim Reaper ad, and the Arrogant-kids-at-a-board-meeting ad, and we'll probably have enough to make up the shortfall for HOPE Scholarship funding....


     ....Come on, Nathan Deal - not all of us parents can afford to lend our kids a million bucks and then lose it. We're just trying to help our sons and daughters get through college, and keep our homes intact. Unless you want to see the rest of Georgia's families go bust too - then stop stealing from the best program Georgia's got going for its future.


     Want to save HOPE?  Then how about asking the U.S. Chamber and all those out-of-state corporations that contributed millions to your election campaign to pitch in a bit for Georgia's kids too - so it won't look like they were just buying you off to get a foot in the door to rip us off once you got elected.


     And hey - Sonny Perdue - Who was watching the store when Georgia over-spent the lottery budget over the past eight years? When did you plan to mention this little shortfall? Don't you think some Georgia parents should have heard about it earlier?  Maybe you can get a $21 million personal loan with little or no collateral to back it up, but the rest of us folks in Georgia aren't so lucky... And we can't swing an excessive $100- million, four-lane state highway through our personal property either ... or get any of the other extra special perks that you got as Governor...


     One thing's for sure - A lot of hard-working students who have done their share to hold up their end of the bargain aren't getting those perks. They're getting shafted. And any governor, senator, or representative who supports taking money out of the HOPE scholarship that they've already been promised should get out of office.


     HOPE helps Georgia attract profitable industries by offering a stable, well-educated work force. HOPE helps Georgia's kids stay in school, boosting the state's education and income levels, and decreasing crime. HOPE strengthens Georgia's families, and helps Georgia businesses that benefit from parents and students having more money to spend on things they really need and want. HOPE gives Georgia's best and brightest a great reason to stay in state.


     And you want to cut HOPE ....


     .... and then spend even more money setting up a losing 1 percent interest state education loan program that's going to cost more to run than what we would have saved to keep HOPE intact ...  and then you want to create a brand new bureaucracy, and print up new stationary for a whole new category of excess with the administration of yet another additional layer of unnecessary education office expenses, and call it the "Zell Miller" program.


     And you want to cut HOPE? Instead of getting rid of the real waste and corruption in Georgia politics? Shame on you! 


     Let me give you a bit of advice, governor.... When your boat is overloaded and listing a bit, the answer isn't to throw a bunch more junk into it and then ram a hole through the floorboards. Instead, get rid of the stuff you really don't need. Don't sink the boat. HOPE is a great vehicle to get us where we want to go in Georgia. Don't sabotage it.


      Instead of getting rid of HOPE - get rid of the real waste in Georgia - the corruption and questionable expenditures in our state government,  including the lottery administration. You can start with the overkill budget for TV ads.


     Cut the budget for excess - not education.


     In closing, Governor, if you can't work to keep HOPE in Georgia, then all you have to offer us is despair - and we don't need it. Georgia needs HOPE, and real leaders who will work for it.


     Thank you for your consideration.


     Sincerely,


      Molly Read Woo



( see the AJC story on Sonny Perdue's $21 million loan at

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/stories/2009/01/18/perdue_loan.html )


For news on the $100 million road and benefit to Sonny Perdue, see

http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2010/05/10/gov-sonny-perdue-and-the-road-through-bonaire/


For Nathan Deal's $2 million loan to his kids and bankruptcy, see 

http://blogs.ajc.com/georgia_elections_news/2010/09/20/nathan-deals-son-in-law-had-previous-bankruptcy/




    Any legislator who votes to cut HOPE today is breaking a promise that was already made to students in Georgia who have held up their end of the bargain.

   

    HOPE helps Georgia attract profitable industries to our state by offering a stable, well-educated work force. HOPE helps Georgia's kids stay in school, boosting the state's education and income levels. HOPE strengthens Georgia's families and helps Georgia businesses that benefit from parents and students having more money to spend on things they really need and want. HOPE gives Georgia's best and brightest a great reason to stay in state.


   But maybe that doesn't matter to the short-sighted herd rushing a vote to cut HOPE today.

Students rally for HOPE on the steps of the Georgia Capital, March 7, on the eve of a proposed vote to cut HOPE funding.

Thank you, Senator Fort, for standing up for HOPE!

To Georgia Legislators considering changes to the HOPE Scholarship


     Here's a great, cost-free way to save HOPE, draw international investment to the state, promote Georgia exports, and give a huge financial boost to some of our greatest educational institutions, all without spending a dime.


     How?


     Give college credit to Georgia students for successfully completed International Baccalaureate (IB) courses they took in high school, just as we already give credit for AP (Advanced Placement) classese at all of Georgia's state-funded universities.


     This simple change could help save funds for HOPE, and encourage some of the best students in Georgia, who are most likely to attract international business to our state, to continue with their study and enterprise here instead of taking their expertise elsewhere.


     By granting college credit to these IB students, we would also give Georgia parents trying to send their kids to college here a great break, and be able to preserve state dollars needed to fund the HOPE scholarship - since many IB students would be able to exempt an entire year of college.


     Why should Georgia pay to teach the same student the same material twice? And why should the best and brightest students be held back to repeat material they've already covered? 


     All IB graduates have successfully completed a program of at least four years of a foreign language study, passed through rigorous coursework in math and science, and read scores of texts with a global perspective,  in addition to passing through the core curriculum that other high school students must pass.


     A few years ago, the state legislature voted to grant college credit to students who had successfully completed IB courses in high school, but for some reason, that initiative died on then Governor Sonny Perdue's desk. Georgia missed a great opportunity to move the state forward economically and academically.


     Those who are familiar with the demands of the global economy, know that to succeed globally, we need to think globally. 


     Georgians who are fluent in foreign languages, and who are familiar with the traditions and histories of other nations can help the state move forward, successfully and profitably, in the increasingly global market of the future. 


     A well-educated, ready-for-the-world work force would be a great asset for attracting new and profitable international industries to Georgia.  We've already paid for IB courses, through our public school offerings. The students have already worked hard for it, and now we're all ready to do some good with it.  Why not promote the best and brightest for Georgia?


     We’d be foolish to try to replace HOPE with even more burdensome layers of costly, ineffective government, like a one percent student loan program that's practically guaranteed to lose millions, and the so called "Zell Miller" scholarship, which will run up an absurd bill with just the set-up and auditing.


    We don't need to break a promise and shortchange our youth. We need - and are getting - a great education through Georgia's Universities, which are now more competitive than ever, thanks to HOPE.


     Governor Deal, Georgia Senators and Congressman, please, don't knock a good thing.  Give credit where credit is due - to hard-working students in Georgia - and that good credit will come back to you with the best interest around.


     Thank you for your consideration.


     Sincerely,


      Molly Read Woo

Sign the petition to restore HOPE here.