By Amy Enberg
A month ago, FL Senate Bill 86 was filed. This bill has received backlash among students, parents, and educators for limiting the ability of students to receive the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship.
In our last online issue, I covered the initial reaction to the bill, as well as the major components.
These past two weeks have seen numerous updates to the bill as it has passed through the Committee on Education.
On Mar. 16, SB 86 was finally discussed in the Education Committee after being postponed for a week. While an amendment was proposed that would provide pathways for arts majors to receive funding, that amendment failed.
The most significant outcome of the bill’s passage through the committee was the provision of an online database that would give prospective students information about the post-graduate outcomes of the state universities. It also requires that the state university boards connect students to career planning services that they must engage with during their first year of enrollment.
The bill still notes that students can only receive the full amount of the scholarship if they pursue a major not present on a list of degrees determined to not lead directly to career opportunities. However, students with a major on that list may receive a “reduced award.” It is unclear what the amount would look like.
There are some upsides to the bill, including the creation of the Florida Endeavor Scholarship, which would provide tuition assistance to students who have not received a high school diploma. It also establishes the Florida Bright Opportunities Grant Program, which would cover remaining fees for students at a Florida College, career center, or charter technical center after federal and state financial aid is applied.
SB 86 is on the agenda for the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education for Mar. 24 at 4:30 p.m. For the full text of the updated bill, click here.
Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Compass