The abounding Senate is able and accessible to booty up Senate President Joe Negron’s $1 billion academy apprenticeship bill this week. Under the proposal, SB 2 — alleged the “Florida Excellence in Academy Apprenticeship Act of 2017” — accompaniment universities would be appropriate to block charge ante for in-state and out-of-state abounding time acceptance by 2018.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, would additionally crave all 12 accompaniment universities to action acceptance a collapsed charge rate, behindhand of how abounding acclaim hours they take.
“Our ambition is to bottle admission and access affordability for Florida students, while at the aforementioned time authoritative cardinal investments that drag the bulge of our accompaniment universities and access their adeptness to attempt as civic destination institutions,” said Galvano.
The Senate accustomed a Galvano alteration to accord universities added money for enrolling low-income students. Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, co-sponsored the alteration with the historically atramentous Florida A&M University in mind. Florida A&M enrolls over 9,000 students, abounding of them from low-income backgrounds.
Braynon said the alteration was important to apparatus so low-income acceptance wouldn’t be penalized for demography best to graduate, aback abounding of them booty up jobs while belief to pay for school.
“Like abounding acceptance today, I formed throughout academy and law school, and I accept the claiming of alive and acclimation difficult coursework,” Negron said. “I am assured this amalgamation of action enhancements will advice added acceptance alum on-time, while advancement the adaptability some acceptance charge as they antithesis their studies with ancestors and assignment obligations.”
Other senators teed up a alternation of amendments for the bill, alignment from accouterment need-based aid to acceptance to appear clandestine colleges and universities to barometer association colleges’ achievement based on on-time graduation rates, but all amendments not proposed by Galvano failed.
If passed, Negron’s angle would additionally abundantly aggrandize Florida’s Bright Futures Scholarship Program, which offers Florida acceptance abounding rides to accompaniment colleges and universities for affair assertive bookish and advance requirements.
Bright Futures, which began in 1997, is adjourned by the Florida Lottery. During the 1997-1998 academy year, the affairs amount about $70 actor to serve about 42,000 students, according to the Florida Department of Education.
As the affairs grew, so did its allotment needs. By 2008, the affairs amount $429 actor and served about 169,000 students, but the bread-and-er recession hit Bright Futures adamantine and the affairs was scaled aback significantly.
Qualifying for a scholarship became added difficult back the accompaniment aloft its connected testing requirements to become a abounding ride Bookish Scholar. Prior to 2011, acceptance had to account a 28 on the ACT or a 1270 on the SAT. By 2013, the account claim added to 29 on the ACT and 1280 on the SAT. afore 2011, a apprentice would accept bare a account of 1270 on the SAT assay or a 28 on the ACT.
Funding was additionally bargain for the affairs by about half. This year, the accompaniment is projected to absorb about $217 actor for 100,000 scholarships.
Should Negron’s bill pass, it would represent the aboriginal year Bright Futures would be additional aback it took a hit nine years ago.
“I accept Florida taxpayers will see a acknowledgment aces of their advance back our top Florida acceptance appear our own universities, complete amount programs on-time, and again alum with job opportunities in high-demand fields bare in our growing communities,” said Negron.
Reach anchorman Allison Nielsen by email at [email protected] or chase her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.
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