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Monday, March 15, 2010 - 7:55am

Students Rally Against Proposed College Cuts

Hundreds of college students gathered at the state Capitol this morning in hopes of pushing lawmakers to leave higher education alone from further budget cuts.

A crowd of students of nearly 500 marched to the steps of the Gold Dome to make their point. Toting signs like “Cut Waste--Not Schools" and "Tax the Rich", students came from all parts of Georgia for the event.

State lawmakers are considering deep cuts to help fill Georgia’s massive budget shortfall. That could mean higher tuition for students. Already the past two years, the University System has absorbed more than $300 million in cuts.

Savannah State senior Donovan Ringo says he made the trip from Georgia’s coast to Atlanta to help kids behind him.

“You only have one opportunity to go to college and make something of yourself. They’re cutting that dream away from us. It’s really separating the classes because it will soon become the ‘have's’ and the ‘have nots’...who can afford to go to college, and who can’t”.

Georgia State student Kate Morales stood alongside a cardboard coffin that read "RIP Georgia Education". She says the final nails could be hammered by lawmakers.

“We feel the Legislature is not taking our education seriously. They don’t understand the ramifications of cutting higher education and what that’s going to mean 10 years down the line. And we’re here to fight back.”

Morales, Ringo and other students are pushing lawmakers to pass taxes on items like tobacco to help fill the budget gap.

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