Former Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter disagrees with the House and Rules Committee’s bill to decrease the amount of lottery funded scholarships awarded to college students across Arkansas.
He says over 100,000 students have already benefited from the $4,500 awarded to them each year, with freshman enrollment of Arkansas students increasing significantly since instating the scholarship program.
The proposed bill would lower the amount to $2,000 for incoming students, and gradually increase each year. Halter says the proposed legislation comes “without warning” and will significantly alter parents’ and students’ plans for the upcoming scholastic year.
The former Lt. Governor compares the educational investment to vaccines saying, "In health care we vaccinate children. Now if you go out and you vaccinate as many kids as you can and you begin to run out of vaccine, you don't cut back the number of shots you're giving to kids...you go manufacture more vaccine. It is the same thing in higher education."
Those in favor of the bill say the current amount of money being given to each student is not sustainable, and must be decreased if it is to continue as a program.
The bill is currently being considered by the House.