Tuesday, March 8, 2011
ALL THE CALLS OVER THE WEEKEND HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE!
Yesterday Governor Deal restored the pre-k(though he did still cut several weeks off the year). We have also heard rumblings from the hall of Senate, THIS BILL MIGHT NOT HAVE ENOUGH VOTES TO PASS! Last night governor Deal wined and dined members of the senate in an effort to win support.
TODAY WE NEED YOU TO MAKE A CALL TO YOUR SENATOR!
WE NEED YOU TO HAVE YOUR NEIGHBOR, CO-WORKER, SPOUSE, UNCLE, EVERYONE CALL!
WILL YOU MAKE THE CALL!
TODAY is a crucial day for Georgia as a bill that would deliver massive blows to Georgia's public education system is going to be voted on in the senate. It has already passed in the House and passed through the Senate Higher Education Committee--it will most likely be voted on on TODAY. We're calling on all Georgia residents to make a quick phone call to their state senator. This bill has been rushing through the legislature, and it's critical that the members of this committee hear the voices of the public as they consider which path to take.
This bill 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 would push tons of young people out of public colleges, particularly students of color and students from low income families. Our office has fielded dozens of calls, countless emails, and several personal visits for students and parents who will be priced out of an education if this bill passes.
CAN YOU HELP SAVE HOPE?
We need you to call your state senator and ask them to vote NO. To find your senator's contact info, you can go to congress.org and type your zip code into the box on the right. (If necessary, you can then enter your full address if there multiple senators for your zip code). If you click on the senator's name, you will see a tab that says "contact": this will have their phone number. Take a few minutes to call. All the talking points you need are included below.
An idea of what to say:
"Hi my name is ______________. I'm a constituent of Senator _______, and I'm a __________ (worker, student, parent, etc). I'm calling in opposition to HB 326, the bill to cut funds for the HOPE scholarship. This bill will price out working families who are already struggling. Students and young people did not cause the financial crisis, and they should not have to pay for it."
JOIN US AT THE CAPITOL
Today join students on the steps of the Capitol as they demand the Senate kill HB326
If you have any questions please feel free to contact Tim Franzen 404-414-5521.
This is a crisis of priority, not resources. We know that there have been several sound proposals that would have kept the HOPE scholarship intact. They were all rejected in favor of dismantling one of the few education programs that provides real opportunity to hard working regular folks. We find it a cruel irony that the military and prison industrial complex drain the majority of our state and national resources, but education is the first place politicians go for cuts.
Under HB 326 once a student loses HOPE, they can never get it back. No matter how well a student does once they less HOPE they lose it forever. HB 326 also takes effect immediately. Current students will have the rug pulled out from under them.
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 is certainly savable, the question is whether or not Georgia legislators are willing to make it a priority or not.
The Hope scholarship is wildly popular. We will be paying attention to who’s voting to dismantle it. We hope our elected officials remember who they’re here to represent. There will be another election.
American Friends Service Committee