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Letter to the editor
Making college too easy for youth
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Forsyth County News


Thank you for printing Tom Crawford’s column, “Some laws are just bad ideas” (Wed. Feb. 22).  I agree that HB 887, which would allow Department of Natural Resources (DNR) employees to solicit funding from the general public, is a bad idea. It is like most government program — they usually have unintended consequences that were not foreseen. Besides, there is nothing in our state or federal constitutions that allow government to provide for the recreation of citizens. This should be a civic function and not something subsidized by the taxpayers.

Mr. Crawford began his opinion piece by stating that Zell Miller’s establishment of the HOPE scholarship was an example of an inspiring and visionary idea. But it too has had many unintended consequences. (1) Pre-K children are too young to be sent off to government schools. They develop their parents’ values and principles in those early years if trained at home. (2)  Much of the HOPE money is wasted since almost half of the college freshmen drop out after the first year. This leaves a bloated campus staff and facilities, leading to greater costs for a college education. (3) It dumb›s down the whole system because professors are asked to pad grades to keep students eligible. (4) The state legislature has had to cut HOPE benefits because the lottery proceeds have not kept up with adequate funding as of late.

Eventually, the HOPE scholarship program will be modified to benefit only the poor. Could we be trying to make a college education too easy for many students?

I worked and paid for my own college education through the University of Georgia system in the ’60s because I was motivated to pursue my dream. It can still be done today if properly motivated. Let’s not usurp bright students initiative by taking away the challenge.

John P. Nowell