HOPE on a Tightrope: Maximizing Lottery Funds to Yield the Best Education Returns
The Georgia Lottery has provided more than $13 billion toward education programs in Georgia. The program has enabled more than 1.4 million students to pursue higher education through the Helping Outstanding Pupil’s Educationally (HOPE) Program and provided 1.1 million four-year-olds access to early childhood education through Georgia’s Pre-K Program. Today, the lottery funding model is broken. Expenditures, particularly for the HOPE Program, outpace lottery revenues and are expected to increase while lottery revenue growth is expected to flatten. Georgia must decide how best to invest limited resources in a manner that yields the greatest return for early education and higher education.