Deal backs effort to expand access to tech schools

ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal, along with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, House Speaker David Ralston and state Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, announced a proposal that will lower to its original level the GPA requirement for the HOPE Grant, which goes to students in the technical college system.

By expanding access to the HOPE Grant, the governor and legislators aim to strengthen the state’s workforce development efforts, officials say.

“After talking with many members of the General Assembly and crunching the numbers at our budget office, I’m glad to report that we’ll be able to lower the GPA requirement for the HOPE Grant back to 2.0 after raising it to 3.0 for budgetary reasons two years ago,” Deal said. “I believe this additional benefit will help Georgia families trying to get ahead and will boost the state’s ability to attract and fill high-skilled jobs.

“With an estimated cost between $5 million and $8 million, we believe this will provide greater access to school – and access to a brighter career – at a relatively small cost to the state.”

Current law requires a GPA of 3.0 to obtain the HOPE Grant for technical schools. The change to a 2.0 GPA will require legislative action for implementation.

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