Consensus Opinion: HOPE can be saved

The statement that HOPE funds could run out as early as 2014 is upsetting and forebodes negative consequences for students and the University System.

There is no way that the HOPE situation could be completely dire now without warnings ahead of time. Either HOPE has time to be reevaluated and fixed or Georgia has been hiding the reality of HOPE from us for some time.

We hope that all measures possible to save HOPE will be taken. The HOPE program is one of the best parts of Georgia’s school system. By eliminating HOPE, we would kill the competitiveness of our universities and take value from Georgia education as a whole. Schools in Georgia would lose attractiveness to top students while letting underprivileged students fall to the wayside.

Since there have been no announcements of doing away with the Georgia lottery, we assume there will still be a substantial amount of revenue taken in by the lottery. That money revenue can be reevaluated and redirected in such a way as to sustain some HOPE benefits.

Yes, adjustments will have to be made. Perhaps the rigor of HOPE requirements should be adjusted or new sources for funds could be evaluated.

Currently, we do not have access to data to make recommendations for actual solutions, but we hope for communication and transparency throughout the reform process.

There are a lot of factors to be considered, but if a group of students can shoot off ideas for reform in a few short hours, we certainly hope that decision makers can devote time to reaching a compromise and some solution.

We think everything possible should be done to keep HOPE viable. If there truly is no solution, we wants to see the facts and know why.