TALLAHASSEE — Major changes to a accepted scholarship affairs that pays for the majority of Florida’s acceptance to appear academy calmly won approval in the Florida Assembly Wednesday.
The Senate, by a 34-4 vote, accustomed changes that accommodate advancement the condoning standards for the scholarship and assuredly demography it abroad from acceptance who can’t accumulate up their grades. The acumen for tweaking the program, which ahead adjourned 75 percent to 100 percent of charge for Florida students, is to accumulate the scholarship afloat. Since its 1997 inception, the scholarship has ballooned in acceptance costing $75 actor for the aboriginal year and $435 actor in 2008-09. To sustain it would bulk about $480 million.
Instead, the Assembly went with a $376.37 actor for 2010-11.
“We accept been disturbing every year to accumulate Bright Futures funded,” said Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach, the armchair of the Assembly College Apprenticeship Appropriations Committee.
Under the Assembly proposal, acceptance in a aboriginal bank of awards would accept $126 per acclaim hour, while acceptance in the additional bank would accept $95 per acclaim hour. That’s the aforementioned bulk acceptance accustomed this year because aftermost year, assembly accomplished they could not armamentarium charge at 100 percent or 75 percent for every condoning apprentice and set a collapsed amount for the awards.
But the affairs needs to accept alike narrower ambit to survive, Lynn said. The Bright Futures account is currently actuality adjourned by federal bang money and will be aing year as well, but if the affairs expands and there is no added bang money, Lynn said she doesn’t apperceive area to get the money.
The Assembly bill includes adopting the SAT requirements from 1270 to 1290 for the top accolade and 970 to 1050 for the accessory award. It additionally changes the stakes for acceptance who don’t accumulate up their grades. Currently, acceptance in the aboriginal bank charge advance a 3.0 brand point average, while the additional bank acceptance charge advance a 2.75 GPA. If they abort to do that and lose the scholarship, they can eventually administer for reinstatement. However, if the assembly bill is approved, acceptance would not be able to administer for reinstatement.
A change was added to the bill admitting to acquiesce exceptions such as illness, an emergency or aggressive account to authorize acceptance for scholarship reinstatement.
Lawmakers about advantaged the change out of bread-and-er necessity, but some additionally acclaimed that there was a charge to accomplish the scholarship need-based rather than merit-based because the accomplished accomplishing acceptance would acceptable authorize for added scholarships. Poor acceptance would accept added charge for the money, some argued.
Throughout the accompaniment university system, about bisected of the acceptance are on the scholarship. At the University of Florida, about 93 percent of freshmen accept a Bright Futures Scholarship while about 76 percent of the all-embracing undergraduate citizenry has one. The legislation does not affect acceptance who are currently on the scholarship.
“It is too accessible to get Bright Futures,” said Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate. “It is not a arete based scholarship, it is a scholarship for everybody at this point.”
Part of the bill does crave all Bright Futures recipients to ample out the federal apprentice banking aid anatomy (FAFSA) so that the Legislature can alpha analytical the banking agency of acceptance who accept the state-funded scholarships.
The bill was against by four Democrats, Sens. Dan Gelber, Charlie Justice, Al Lawson and Chris Smith.
Gelber, D-Miami Beach, said he accepted the intentions of the legislation but that he could not abutment some of the accoutrement such as assuredly demography abroad a scholarship.
“Now is not the time to aing the doors of our college apprenticeship institutions to anybody,” he said.
The House has not included a agnate accouterment in its budget, but has cut the collapsed amount for acceptance accepting the awards to $110 per acclaim hour for the aboriginal bank and $83 per acclaim hour for the additional tier. The differences will acceptable be bound in appointment committees over the aing few weeks.
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