The masthead says Georgia Student Finance Commission, but the cheap copied letterhead bears the seal of the guvnah, Sonny Perdue. I’ll cite the first two paragraphs verbatim:
The Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC) is the agency responsible for administering the Governor’s Scholarship Program. We are writing to inform you that the State Budget Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2010, recently passed by the General Assembly, does not include funds for the Governor’s Scholarship Program.
The lack of funding for the program means there will be no Governor’s Scholarship Program awards made for the 2009-2010 academic year.
If you’re curious, the Governor’s Scholarship awards are given to Star Students and Valedictorians in each public high school in the stage of Georgia. Second daughter, who was a Star Student at Perry High School a couple of years ago, has received around $900/year from this scholarship for the last two years. Admittedly, losing this money will not put an end to her college career, but it is money that must now come from elsewhere. These days, elsewhere can be a little hard to find.
Our federal government, operating in hopeful desparation, has saddled my daughter’s generation with a mountain of debt (see Poor Richard’s post A Modest Proposal ). It would seem that the least we could do is attempt to provide them with the wherewithal to pay their way out of it. This, it seems, runs directly counter to the priorities of Guvnah Sonny and the dimwits in the Georgia Legislature, who are more concerned with getting Georgians to go fishing or arguing over a resolution in support of President Obama than they are with education of the generations to come.
It is tempting to go off on a tangent about public education’s lack of concern for the best and brightest students, those with the most observable potential to get our nation out of the mess that my generation of politicians has gotten us into. The prima facie evidence indicates that dabbling into education by mediocre politicians and their mediocre bureaucratic appointees within the educational system has resulted in the dumbing down of a couple of generations of students.
Poor Richard submits that it’s one thing to do this accidentally (i.e. from stupidity, not malice), but quite another to do it intentionally. I would remind my Georgia readers that the same state officials who unaward scholarships have mandated significant budget cuts to education ($1.5 billion from the K-12 system and more from the universities, according to Bill Shipp and the Consortium for Adequate School Funding in Georgia), eliminated summer school for this year, and even suggested that it might be a good idea to furlough teachers for a few days during the next school year to save money.
It’s a matter of priorities. In the eyes of Georgia’s governor and legislature, stealth taxes on automobiles, indecision and endless argument about transportation, and questionable restructuring of the corporate tax code certainly trump education. Oh, and fishing . . . let’s not forget fishing (See the guvnah’s Press Release).
Daughter #1 will be graduating from Mercer in two short weeks. Today we learned who the commencement speaker will be. You guessed it . . . Guv’nah Sonny hisself. Ironic, huh? Isn’t life grand?