Georgia Early HOPE Scholarship

Friday is Crossover Day, the last day for a piece of legislation to clear one body to be considered for this year. There are some bills that I’m watching, one of them is SB 361, which would rename the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship the Georgia Early HOPE Scholarship and expand eligibility to children with parents in the military, children with certain medical conditions (confined to a wheelchair, chronic illness, etc) or a child that is or has been in foster case.

Crystal Beale, widow of Staff Sgt. John Beale, writes:

Christopher, 13, and Calye, 8, have struggled in our neighborhood public schools, but for different reasons. Christopher had been badgered by other boys and his grades were slipping. Calye wasn’t always challenged by her studies.

And when John left for the Middle East — and particularly after that awful day when he was killed by an IED — the kids and I were never the same.

IT REALLY DOES take two parents to make sure the homework gets done; the kids stay focused on their studies; and children have a mother and a father to talk to about peer pressure and other issues that accompany school life.

That’s why when I heard that Georgia lawmakers wanted to offer military families a voucher or an Early HOPE Scholarship to transfer to another public or private school, I knew John would have been delighted. Actually, I started to cry. I wondered, if I spoke out in favor of such a wonderful idea for families such as ours, if it could actually be a legacy for heroes such as John.

SB 361 has cleared committee and is awaiting placement on the calendar.


  1. polisavvy says:

    Oh Lord, please let that pass. I almost cried reading Mrs. Beale’s letter. We can’t do enough for these men and women, in my opinion. We owe them so much for their willingness to sacrifice all, including their own lives.

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