Election year pandering is nothing new for many politicians, but Gov. Deal might be the king of it.
Just three years after gutting the HOPE scholarship–the ticket to higher education for thousands of Georgia’s college students–Gov. Deal is pitching a brand new program to encourage adults to head back to the classroom.
Deal’s hoping that on your way back to the classroom this fall, you’ll stop at your polling location and vote for him.
According to Gov. Deal, “in order for Georgia to remain economically competitive, we must have an educated work force and focusing on college completion is one way we intend to do that.”
If Gov. Deal is so convinced that higher education is the key to Georgia’s economic success, why did he gut HOPE in 2011?
For over two decades, HOPE put hundreds of thousands of Georgians in college classrooms across the state while helping to grow Georgia’s educated workforce.
In addition to making traditional, four-year college more affordable for students, the HOPE grant program provides the opportunity for thousands of Georgians to attend community and technical college to receive the crucial job training they need. We now have 80,000 fewer HOPE scholars than we did before Gov. Deal’s cuts and HOPE covers a fraction of the tuition costs it covered before the governor slashed the program.
How can Gov. Deal encourage adults to head back to the classroom when he’s left tens of thousands of Georgians in the dust?
Gov. Deal’s hoping we all forget what he did to HOPE when we vote in November, but we’re not that shortsighted. His cuts to HOPE devastated the program and now Gov. Deal is trying to cover his tracks. If Gov. Deal wants to “go back,” we have a place he can start: repeal the cuts to HOPE and restore the dreams of thousands of Georgians who can no longer afford higher education.