Lottery shortfall may mean HOPE cuts

by: Lori Geary Updated:

ATLANTA,None - A new audit shows Georgia’s HOPE scholarship is still hemorrhaging money and could face more cuts as early as 2013, Channel 2 political reporter Lori Geary has learned.

State leaders met Friday to go over numbers for the program that was cut by lawmakers earlier in 2011.

“We hope things pick up. The bottom line is we can't spend more than we make," strategic research director Dr. David Lee said. “We need more people to buy lottery tickets,” said Lee.

This year, the Georgia Lottery will generate $37 million dollars less than expected.  By 2013, the costs of the HOPE scholarship and pre-k programs will total more than $930 million but the lottery will only generate $853 million, lawmakers said.


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"We're trying to minimize the impact on individual scholars.  We're in the process of going through the budget right now, "Gov. Nathan Deal told Geary.

Some students at Georgia Tech told Geary they can’t continue their education without the HOPE scholarship.

"It's absolutely essential for me being here," freshman Jennifer Laws said. "They do so much advertising of the lottery, I would think that obviously cuts into a lot of the budget that goes toward education funding," Laws said.

The shortfall may force another round of cuts to the program, Geary said. Changes made this year cut tuition reimbursement back to 90 percent, but that percentage could be reduced even more.

Georgia Tech student Anthony Brown said the cuts would be devastating.

"Actually, I'm from a single parent so she's already working hard to pay for the deficit of 10 percent," Brown said.

If there is a need to make more cuts to the HOPE program the governor would initially propose the numbers and the legislature would have to approve the changes. 

A new audit shows Georgia’s HOPE scholarship is still hemorrhaging money and could face more cuts as early as 2013, Channel 2 political reporter Lori Geary has learned.

 

State leaders met Friday to go over numbers for the program that was cut by lawmakers earlier in 2011.

 

“We hope things pick up. The bottom line is we can't spend more than we make," strategic research director Dr. David Lee said. “We need more people to buy lottery tickets,” said Lee.

 

This year, the Georgia Lottery will generate $37 million dollars less than expected.  By 2013, the costs of the HOPE scholarship and pre-k programs will total more than $930 million but the lottery will only generate $853 million, lawmakers said.

 

"We're trying to minimize the impact on individual scholars.  We're in the process of going through the budget right now, "Gov. Nathan Deal told Geary.

 

Some students at Georgia Tech told Geary they can’t continue their education without the HOPE scholarship.

 

"It's absolutely essential for me being here," freshman Jennifer Laws said. "They do so much advertising of the lottery, I would think that obviously cuts into a lot of the budget that goes toward education funding," Laws said.

 

The shortfall may force another round of cuts to the program, Geary said. Changes made this year cut tuition reimbursement back to 90 percent, but that percentage could be reduced even more.

 

Georgia Tech student Anthony Brown said the cuts would be devastating.

 

"Actually, I'm from a single parent so she's already working hard to pay for the deficit of 10 percent," Brown said.

 

If there is a need to make more cuts to the HOPE program the governor would initially propose the numbers and the legislature would have to approve the changes.