It made so much sense at the time. As state lotteries emerged, particularly in the South, lawmakers tied educational incentives to the proceeds in an effort to change persistently low numbers of post-secondary degree attainment — and with it, the fortunes of the state’s economy.
And for quite a while, it worked. More and more students performed better, thus increasing in-state enrollment. In Georgia, where Gov. Zell Miller’s HOPE Scholarship helped voters pass the state lottery into law in 1992, the percentage of college-degree holders jumped from 19 percent to 28 percent in 20 years. Continue reading