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Reject Senate Bill 86

By Eduardo Andrade, Editor-in-Chief

While most people reluctantly accept the idea that all “good things must come to an end,” it seems like some members of the Florida legislature are determined to turn this saying into reality.

Republican Sen. Dennis Baxley filed Senate Bill 86 late last Feb. A bill which if signed into law will introduce serious restrictions on the Florida Bright Futures scholarship, which provides either 100% or 75% tuition to public Florida Colleges to students who meet certain criteria. Among other things, the bill would make it such that the scholarship would only apply to students who enroll in certificate or degree programs which “lead directly to employment,” as determined by the Board of Governors and Department of Education.

It is truly astonishing how ripping millions of dollars out of the hands of students who have the audacity to study something which may not appear to be immediately profitable, but let’s consider the pros and cons.

On the one hand, giving the best and brightest students in Florida the freedom to choose to study what they would like without having to worry about the significant burden of tuition while simultaneously encouraging them to keep their talents and intellects in-state to benefit Florida residents and the economy provides clear and obvious good, on the other hand, it sure is fun to crush the hopes and dreams of students whose goals extend beyond making a lot of money.

Make no mistake, if this bill is passed and an there is an increase in STEM or business majors, this is not a success, rather a measure of how many 18-year-old kids were strong armed into getting an education in something they don’t give a crap about in order to take what’s been preached to them is the only possible next step in their lives.

The government needs to take a step back and let students decide on their own what the best educational and career path is for them, and not try to dictate what they can and cannot study and Bill 86 must be rejected.

Posted: March 11

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