Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. (File / WRDW-TV)
ATLANTA (AP) -- Gov. Nathan Deal says he wants to wait more time before talking about altering the HOPE scholarship program again.
Deal said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press that the cuts passed by the Legislature last year need longer to take effect before any other changes are made. Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Jason Carter of Decatur, have called for an overhaul of the program to restore full scholarships for all students who receive an award.
Deal said the Democrats' plan would drive the best and brightest students to out-of-state colleges and bankrupt the 19-year-old program. He said needy students have options aside from HOPE -- like the federally funded Pell Grant and other need-based aid -- that they can use to help afford college.