The Gross National Debt

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The internet needs a sarcasm font

H'RAY FOR UNIONS! (and the internet needs a sarcasm font)

Here in Jawja, we have a state lottery. We also have are part of a multi-state lottery. The Peach State uses proceeds from the lottery for education.

Georgia guarantees high school students with a B average free tuition at any state public school through a bachelor's degree, provided they maintain their average in college. HOPE - Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally.

Yes really.

Millions of students have gone to academic and technical colleges with this money. How many would otherwise not have gone? Hard to say, but the number of folks graduating from Georgia institutions of realistic and liberal learning would be lower, of that I have no doubt.

Have you seen the problem yet? Look hard.

Here's a giant pot of money.

Here's a bunch of schools which are not governed by the State Legislature as much as they are governed by the Boards of Trustees.

Getting closer?

Tuition in Georgia has risen over  the years, faster than the lottery is capable of sending kids to college.


So the General Assembly in its limited wisdom is eyeballing what it says is two choices: Restructure HOPE to make it harder to get. Limit benefits.

Typical government reaction.

I suggest to you there is a THIRD option.

Cut tuition rates to something more reasonable and in line with HOPE generates.

"Wow Baker, yer a genius!" you exclaim.

But it'll never pass. Why?

The State Legislature lacks the necessary internal plumbing and dangly parts to enact such legislation because unlike K-12 education (which is a federal requirement), a person attending a college is not a mandate.

Unions. Specifically teacher and education unions, both of which, according to independent nonpartisan studies of Georgia's governments and budgets, cost taxpayers millions of dollars by blocking reforms.

Meanwhile, poor kids who work hard in school are being penalized because a group of teachers is not willing to budge out of their $50K to six figure a year salaries.

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