by Max Brantley
Lt. Gov. Bill Halter released today results of a public opinion poll on state lottery structure. The people prefer a 2.5 gradepoint requirement, rather than something higher, for lottery scholarships; no income restrictions; simple scholarship participations rules.
Well, of course they do.
Too bad the people won't make the rules. The legislature will.
One more reason for the legislature to dislike Bill Halter. He's always pushing stuff -- his candidacy, a state lottery, simple and fair rules for a state lottery -- that voters prefer over their ideas.
GO HERE for John Williams' coverage of Halter's news conference. Notable comments include his call for a two-year cooling off period before lottery commissioners can turn into lobbyists.
Poll Shows Statewide Voter Support for Merit-Based Lottery Scholarships
70% of Respondents Favor 2.5 GPA As Scholarship Standard
LITTLE ROCK ( February 10, 2009) - Seven in 10 Arkansas voters support
awarding lottery scholarships based on students' academic achievement,
specifically a 2.5 grade point average or higher, a statewide survey
reports. Only 18 percent support awarding lottery-funded scholarships
based solely on family income.
The telephone poll of 400 Arkansans also shows that 74 percent of
respondents believe a lack of college scholarships is a big problem for
students and 65 percent trust that new scholarships funded with the net
proceeds of a state-run lottery will be available to all graduating high
school seniors regardless of family income.
"These poll results confirm my belief that when Arkansas voters approved
a constitutional amendment authorizing a state lottery for college
scholarships, they did so believing every Arkansas citizen who wants to
earn a college degree would have the opportunity to do so with lottery
dollars," Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter said.
HOPE for Arkansas LLC commissioned the poll, which was conducted January
26-27 by Opinion Research Inc. of Little Rock. The margin of error is
plus or minus 5 percent.
Other poll findings include:
* 81 percent of respondents support granting lottery scholarships
for non-traditional adult students who want to go back to college.
* 81 percent of respondents believe the current state scholarship
process is too complicated and confusing.
* 70 percent of respondents oppose granting lottery scholarships
only to families making less than $30,000.
* 60 percent of respondents oppose granting lottery scholarships
only to students from families making less than $75,000.
* 98 percent of respondents believe it's important that Arkansans
have access to education beyond high school.