Commission to urge Florida Legislature to
hold line on Bright Futures Scholarships
With the cost of higher education constantly rising, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan is concerned about the affordability of college tuition. At today's Board of County Commission meeting, Commissioner Jordan garnered the support of her colleagues to urge the Florida House and Senate to revise its Bright Futures Scholarship ruling, which makes the qualifications for the funds more stringent. The Commission agreed and passed the resolution unanimously at today’s meeting.
“When this bill initially passed, it was a measure to help save the State of Florida money,” said Commissioner Jordan. “However, no one took into account the affect that it would have on college enrollment for Hispanics and African Americans. “If the State of Florida implements this plan, they’ll be moving us backwards, not forward.”
According to J. Robert Spatig, a University of South Florida administrator, minority communities throughout the state will be greatly impacted. According to his findings, the ACT test minimum requirements will rise from 21 to 22 this year, and the minimum test score will leap to 26 in 2014. There are similar increases for SAT requirements which will rise from 980 to 1020 this year, and elevated again to 1170 in 2014. That could mean scholarship recipients would decrease by more than 60 percent for Hispanics and 75 percent for African Americans.
“The goal of the Bright Futures Scholarship is to give those students who don’t have money, but good grades and determination, the ability to attend a state university,” said Commissioner Jordan. “Miami-Dade County would be greatly impacted. I’m hoping that this urging would encourage them to reverse this decision.”