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18 January 2013

Democrats Give Up on High Student Achievement; Introduce Bills to Drop HOPE Standards

Georgia Democrats are waving the white flag of surrender. They appear to have given up on raising the number of high academic achievers in this state, and now propose dropping the standards for students to maintain financial aid eligibility.

A group of twelve Democrats led by Representative Stacey Abrams and Senator Jason Carter introduced a pair of bills that lowers the minimum cumulative grade point average required for maintaining HOPE eligibility to 2.0, also known as a C average.

House Bill 54 and Senate Bill 59 both read --

To be eligible for a HOPE grant, a student seeking a diploma or certificate at a branch of the Technical College System of Georgia or a unit of the University System of Georgia shall, in addition to meeting the residency requirements set forth in subsection (a) of Code Section 20-3-519.1:

(1) Meet achievement standards by earning a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 at the end of the quarter or semester in which the student has attended 30 or 60 semester hours or 45 or 90 quarter hours of courses towards a diploma or certificate for which the student received HOPE funds pursuant to this part.

HOPE, which stands for Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally, was created in 1993 as a merit-based scholarship program to reward Georgia students who excelled academically.

In order to be eligible for HOPE, a student must graduate from a Georgia high school with a 3.0 GPA, enroll in a public or private college located in Georgia, and maintain a 3.0 GPA through the completion of an undergraduate degree program or certificate program from a technical college.

House Bill 54 and Senate Bill 59 are insulting to the high academic achievers of Georgia. Instead of rewarding hard work, the Democrat sponsors of this legislation are saying, "Let's reward mediocre work. Let's reward C-level work."