Thornton for Governor
PO Box 1971, Manchester, CT 06045

JUNE 27, 2006

Cliff Thornton, Green Party Candidate for Governor (860) 657-8438-Home or (860) 268-1294-Campaign cell
Tim McKee (860) 778-1304-Campaign Manager

"Maintain a good GPA, get a free education"

HARTFORD -- Cliff Thornton, Green Party candidate for Governor announced today that he would propose a plan that give Connecticut students free college tuition and fund it thru earmarked funds from the state's lottery and gambling earnings.

The requirements of the program would be to maintain a 2.0 grade point average to get into local community college programs and 3.0 grade point average for 4 year schools.

Thornton cited the state of Georgia's similar plan of "HOPE" scholarships funded by gambling for free tuition for college as reasons why Connecticut must be completive in the education field and retain our best and brightest students.

In addition to paying tuition and fees at state schools, the program would also pay the same amount towards a qualified student's Connecticut private-school education.

The Georgia program, called "Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally," helps students at the state's universities, technical colleges and private schools, as well as GED recipients. Georgia students who attend private colleges and maintain a 3.0 GPA may be eligible for up to $3,000 per year in HOPE funds. In addition, students who earned a GED and wish to return to school to earn a high school equivalency degree may be eligible for a $500 grant. Since HOPE's inception in 1993, over Since the HOPE Program began in 1993, over $2.7 billion in HOPE funds have been awarded to more than 850,000 students attending Georgia's colleges, universities, and technical colleges.

"Every student deserves the chance to earn a college education," Thornton said. "Providing free college tuition will expand hope and opportunity for thousands of hard-working Connecticut students."

"In the fiscal year 2005, the CT Lottery provided $268.5 million to the state's General Fund, where it is used as a slush fund for all kinds of pet projects and pork barrel, why not dedicate it solely for free college tuition for our students?" Thornton explained.

Thornton added "This also would create more jobs in the education institutions and those people would pay income taxes, local sales tax and other revenues, as the same with students who would stay here instead sending money out of state for college tuition. Georgia Hope fund