New HOPE Bill for Technical College Students

In 2011, at the Governor’s urging Gold Domers tinkered with the HOPE Program, reducing the amount of HOPE Grant money used by students at technical colleges (among many other tinkerings).

As everyone (except politicians) expected, there were unintended consequences, namely enrollment declined across all state technical colleges. (Aside: a certain candidate for Governor that is the grandson of a former President is already criticizing the incumbent Governor over the changes to HOPE. Stay tuned.)

Now two legislators, state Reps. Stacey Evans (D-Smyrna) and Earl Ehrhart (R-Powder Springs), want to restore that award funding to 100%.

Get the deets here.


  1. eehrhart says:

    The very sad circumstance here for these TCSG students is that the certain candidate grandson is politically grandstanding on an issue which if he keeps it up will harm the chances for continued support of TCSG and the Grant. As we have seen in Washington, politicizing an issue creates gridlock as then neither party will negotiate in good faith.

    In Georgia we are fortunate to have a Governor who for several years has worked in a Bi-Partisan manner on this issue with Rep Evans and myself to support these students. It is a great testament to his reasonableness and his true concern for these students even when he is sniped at by a political wannabe trying to make some media time for himself in his run for Governor as the prodigal grandson.

    These students are much more important than the grandsons delusions of governorship. He should really find another prop for his campaign, and leave the solutions to something as serious as Hope grants and scholarships to members of both parties willing to work together for the students, and not their own politics.

    • xdog says:

      Mr. Ehrhart, you can help me out here. Regardless of any ‘unintended consequences’, who was responsible for the original HOPE limitations that cratered tech school enrollment? My recollection is that it was the bill pushed by your reasonable and concerned Governor that priced out all those people, but I’m willing to listen if you have another view.

      Another possibility for finding the $30M to fund your catch-up bill is to take a run at Delta’s fuel subsidy. Even if you never get a dime from them you’d get high marks from left and right.

      On the overall tone of your post, it has to hearten donks in general and the ‘grandson’ in particular to see the gov’s surrogates lobbing rounds at him 11 months out from the election. Also, I’d be surprised if that ‘grandson’ label worked for you too long. Times may be changing.

      • Harry says:

        Mr. xdog, can you help me out here as well. Can you provide a source on your assertion that HOPE “limitations” “cratered” tech school enrollment? What exactly were the “limitations”?

          • Harry says:

            Maintaining a 2.0 or even 3.0 GPA doesn’t seem an unreasonable requirement to keep a government funded scholarship in a technical school. What am I missing?

          • mpierce says:

            I guess it would depend on ones definition of “cratering”. 5800 students dropping out of a system with 190000 students (assuming all of those failing to return was caused by the limitations).

            • benevolus says:

              5800 people who, instead of learning a skill/trade to support themselves and their families on are trying to learn a skill at MacDonalds and WalMart.

              • mpierce says:

                The merits of those 5800 students receiving scholarships is separate from whether or not 5800 out of 190000 constitutes “cratering”. But since you brought it up.

                1) While job placement rates are quite good, they are NOT 100%. So many of those would still be at McDonalds.

                2) There are various reasons people quit school. I saw nothing indicating the scholarship was the reason they all quit.

                3) There are other ways to finance the tuition. The could work or get loans.

                • John Konop says:

                  Would it not make better fiscal sense to integrate the vo-tech curriculum into high school? Cost less, no loans, no need for Hope and students ready to work faster….ie helps economy….

                  • mpierce says:

                    I guess that depends on what you mean. I think offering some vocational courses in high school for college credit makes sense. I’m not sure people getting Associate degrees in their high school necessarily makes sense. And eliminating technical colleges doesn’t make sense. Thus I still think there will be a need for loans and Hope.

                    • John Konop says:

                      Nothing is eliminated, we would just share resources….ie save money and offer programs form colleges and technical schools at the high school. The money is re allocated to the technical school, college…. less a fee for using the facility…..The students would not need student loans for vo-tech degrees… payers would not have to subsidize or maintain the liability for the student loan….the student would be contributing quicker to society…..We do this today via joint enrollment for 4 year college students….we just do not use facilities in place tax payers have already paid for ie high schools

  2. rightofcenter says:

    I think the more significant factor that you and Mr. Carter not surprisingly ignore is that our current governor looked at the data, recognized that the new rules went too far, and quickly made improvements in the HOPE corrections. I know that it is difficult for you to recognize what true humble leadership looks like – lord knows that neither Mr. Obama or Mr. Carter’s grandfather have ever admitted that any of their signature “plans” were less than perfect and needed correcting. Personally, I find it refreshing (and all too rare) that a politician is willing to do this.

  3. xdog says:

    RoC, you’re right as long as you define ‘quickly’ as two years and counting to get a corrective measure introduced and another year at least to find the votes to pass it. Someone less concerned with grandfathers and Kenyan pretenders might believe that recovery time wouldn’t be necessary if a little more thought and planning had been applied originally.

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