Florida Senate Bill 86 on Bright Futures Scholarship Advances – Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida 2021-03-17 08:00:00 –

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Over 100,000 Florida students and teachers have opposed a new bill that restricts student access to Florida Bright Futures scholarships, depending on the college major of choice.But despite fierce public protests, the bill cleared another hurdle in the Florida state legislature yesterday and was approved by the state Senate. education Committee.

Senate Bill 86, Introduced and popular by Republican Senator Okara Dennis Bucksley Bright Futures Program, Merit-based scholarships funded primarily through Florida lotteries. Under this bill, only students whose major is considered “employable” by state standards are eligible for scholarships. (In the 2019-2020 academic year, 23% of Florida high school graduates were eligible for Bright Futures. According to state data.. )

For each bill Current language, University of Florida and State Board of directors You will be ordered to create a list of degree programs that “do not lead to direct employment.” Students enrolled in the programs on the list are prohibited from receiving state assistance through Bright Futures. This means that high school students are forced to declare their college major before applying for a scholarship. If students change majors, it must be an approved field in order for them to continue to receive assistance.

Senate Bill 86 also requires the Board to create a dashboard showing the median salaries for each discipline after graduation and the estimated debt that students will have to bear for their degree programs. I will.

During ~ Yesterday’s committeeThe bill came from anecdotal discussions with business owners and lawyers who told the University of Florida graduates that they weren’t properly educated and didn’t know how to write a “good business letter,” Baxley said. Stated. Baxley commented that today’s students have not learned employability and their tendency towards social media has not been translated into employability.

“We need to think differently. If all you can do is TikTok and Facebook, you can’t work in today’s modern office,” said 68-year-old Baxley.

Senate Bill 86 also removes Bright Futures’ provision that students can receive 75% or 100% of tuition and fees, depending on certain criteria, such as SAT and ACT scores and volunteer time. .. Instead, the bill will ensure that scholarships are awarded based on variable amounts set in the state’s annual budget.

A group of state-wide students and teachers fear that attending a Florida school could effectively kill state university humanities programs and motivated students who want to go to the arts and other non-traditional disciplines. He expressed strong opposition to the bill.Petition above Calling signers to oppose Senate Bill 86 received over 105,000 signatures.

Dozens of teachers and students, including Florida International University student president Alexandra Valdes, attended a board of education meeting yesterday, urging state senators to vote against the bill.

“Many students across the FIU and the state university system rely on Florida Bright Futures to continue their education in Florida,” Valdes said at the conference. “We are still concerned about breaking our promise to pay 100 percent or 75 percent of our students. [tuition] Fees for Bright Futures students. Reducing Bright Futures makes it harder for students to reach their goals. “

Sophia Lombardi, student council president of the New College of Florida, pointed out that many parts of the bill are not well defined.

“We can’t create a time of trial, and the desire to define something that can’t be defined crushes the intellectual freedom we offer the next generation of students,” she said. “My highly educated colleagues who chose to attend New College over universities like Yale and the University of Michigan will be forced to transfer their talents elsewhere.”

Both Republican and Democratic senators on the commission have expressed concern that the bill is an example of a government overkill, saying Congress is essentially responsible for deciding what many students want. Stated.

“We talk a lot about school choice and capitalism, and raising ourselves with your bootstrap,” said Senator Tina Scott Polsky, Democrat of Palm Beach. There is no choice in the major. Children do not decide, parents do not decide — the government decides. “

Senator Jennifer Bradley, a Republican at Orange Park, opposed the idea that the state controls student education paths rather than parents.

“I have spent most of the last decade discussing with children what their careers are, what their passions are, and how they want to move into the workforce. I’ve been. Parents can talk to their children. I think I should talk to them, “Bradley said.

In response to growing concerns about how this measure would limit student access to education in Florida, Bucksley said he would like to challenge students to make them more productive.

“A certain amount of exertion and despair in life challenges us to do our best,” Bucksley said. “I know I have to take risks and do something else if I want more productive results. I look forward to trying them out.”

The bill has passed education A committee in which Republican senators vote in favor and Democrats vote against, voting 5-4. (Despite her comments, Bradley voted to pass the bill.) The bill must pass a vote by all Senate agencies before it becomes law.

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Florida Senate Bill 86 on Bright Futures Scholarship Advances
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