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Mornings unPHILtered - Gov. candidate supports 'Hope'

Eric Johnson supports more public school choice

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Mornings unPHILtered - Gov. candidate supports 'Hope'

Eric Johnson


    Tuesday's first guest on the “Mornings unPHILtered” show was former State Sen. Eric Johnson, who is running for governor. An architect from Savannah, Johnson served for years as senate minority leader and senate president pro tempore in the Georgia Legislature.
    Johnson first ran successfully ran for the state senate in 1994. In the Senate, Johnson helped push through several laws, including those punishing sexual predators, curbing illegal immigration, and requiring photo ID's in order to vote in Georgia. Johnson stepped down in 2009 to run for the governor's seat.
    Johnson told host Phil Boyum that he first got involved in politics during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. He said that he got involved with the Mack Mattingly campaign, and has been involved with statewide races ever since. Johnson said ethics violations seem to be a constant bedfellow in politics in all parties and at all levels.
    Johnson said by running a grassroots campaign, he is able to avoid all special interest groups and their demands in order to gain their support. Johnson stated that he is the only candidate for governor not from the Atlanta area. Despite the fact that a candidate from the Coastal Empire hasn't been elected to the governorship in decades, Johnson believes he can get enough support statewide to get elected.
    Concerning education, Johnson said he intends to reform public education in the state so that our students will be able to compete in the global economy. He plans to allow the money for each student to gain “Early Hope” money to choose where he or she wants to go to school.
    Johnson believes this would greatly reduce state expenses per student for their education, which will translate to future tax cuts for each Georgia taxpayer. Johnson insisted that government-run education is not always the best place for public school students to be. Children who are not being served well in their local public schools, he stated, must be allowed to go where there parents feel they will be best prepared for their futures.
    Johnson said the more we can personalize each child's education, the better off we will all be. He said that public school students must be freed from the inflexibility of the existing rules. They must be able to graduate when they're ready, and take those courses which they need rather than taking classes simply because someone in state government said they must.
     Johnson said he hopes his record as a conservative and competent legislator will convince Bulloch Countians to support his efforts to bring Georgia into the 21st Century.
     Boyum's next guest was Ryan Foley, the acting vice president of Student Affairs and Financial Aid at Ogeechee Technical College. He described how to enroll at OTC. Potential applicants must submit high school transcripts, and if available their college records. For those who didn't graduate, there is the G.E.D. test, which serves as an alternative to high school diploma.  
    OTC offers support before and after taking the test in order to get applicants into school. There are Hope Scholarships, which require a 3.0 average out of high school. There is also the Hope Grant, which requires you be a Georgia resident which covers most costs of the schooling.
    In addition, there are the Pell Grants and other funding available for applicants who do not qualify for the Hope monies or have already used Hope to which they are entitled. Foley said the whole financial aid process can be completed online, either at home or at the school. You can call (912) 681-5500 for more information.
    
    “Mornings unPHILtered” airs live Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on statesboroherald.com and also simulcast on WWNS-AM 1240 on the radio. You also can listen anytime at BoroLive.com on statesboroherald.com
   
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