Petition for Public Education

HB326, Nathan Deal's purposed tax cuts, recently passed the Georgia House and Senate.

This signifies the beginning of the end of the HOPE scholarship. The only people receiving full HOPE aid will be those who graduate from high school with at least a 3.7 GPA and 1200 SAT score. These changes will push thousands of young people out of public colleges, particularly students of color and students from low income families.

• The new SAT requirements ensure that low income folk, especially people of color, will have much less access to hope. The SAT test is proven to be culturally biased. We also know that high income families can afford expensive SAT classes that regular working families cannot. Demanding a 1200 SAT course to qualify for HOPE will guarantee that those who need HOPE the most will have the hardest time getting it.

• HB 326 will price out low income folks. No question about it. The change in book fees alone will price out anyone that struggles to keep food on the table and electricity in the house. It would seem that this bill, by design, disenfranchises low income folks, especially people of color.

• We are not fooled; HB 326 DOES NOT save hope. HB 326 dismantles HOPE. We keep hearing folks say that 90% of hope will be available to students with a 3.0 or above. Not true. Nathan Deal himself admitted that that number is likely closer to 80% and that as soon as next year it could go down to 60%. The HOPE scholarship was certainly savable, the question is whether or not Georgia legislators are willing to make it a priority or not. They were not.

We petition for an end to the state's attack on students and low income folk. Education should be the last place lawmakers go to cut budgets, not the first!

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