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Higher Education

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam is rolling out details of his top priority if elected — a plan to boost vocational and technical education in middle and high schools.

University Money Could Help Draw Top Researchers

Mar 14, 2018

Florida universities will share $151 million in funding next academic year that will allow them to recruit top-level researchers and improve professional and graduate schools.

The Florida Legislature has passed sweeping higher education changes. The measures would permanently increase funding to the Bright Futures Scholarship, eliminate free speech zones and address university performance-based funding.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

University of South Florida officials are not waiting for Governor Rick Scott to sign a higher education bill before they start planning to consolidate their campuses under one accreditation.

The Florida House and Senate are already clashing over education—higher ed in particular. The House is planning deep cuts for the state’s public colleges and universities while the Senate is looking to increase funding for both systems.

The state’s lawmakers are hard at work in Tallahassee as the 2018 legislative session continues. This week on the latest edition of our monthly Florida Matters news roundtable series we’re talking about some of their priorities and how they could affect residents.


House Eyes Higher Education Budget Cuts

Jan 24, 2018

Florida House leaders unveiled a proposed higher-education budget Tuesday that includes cuts designed to spur state universities and colleges to spend some of their reserve funds.

A bill that would create a new governance board for the state college system and impose a limit on the number of four-year degrees awarded by the colleges advanced in the Senate on Wednesday.

University of South Florida

A bill under consideration by the Florida House would shake the very foundation of the University of South Florida by revoking the separate accreditations of its St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee campuses.

South Florida’s community college presidents are fighting a legislative proposal they argue would especially hurt low-income people and minorities — who make up the majority of their student bodies.

The leaders of Miami Dade College, Broward College and Palm Beach State College — whose schools enroll about half of all community college students in Florida — are teaming up to oppose Senate Bill 540, a chief priority of Republican Senate President Joe Negron.

State lawmakers are advancing a bill to create a statewide board to oversee Florida’s 28 state and community colleges.

The schools are now under the State Board of Education, which also oversees Florida’s pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade system.

The proposal also revives a plan college presidents objected to last year: stricter performance measures for graduation.

When the new Legislative session begins in January, lawmakers will debate policy and craft budgets.

Scott Vetoes Higher Education Changes

Jun 15, 2017
Office of the Governor

With a stroke of his veto pen, Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday wiped out most of the higher-education policy initiatives that had been advanced by Senate President Joe Negron during the 2017 legislative session.

‘Stand Your Ground’ Among Bills Sent To Scott

Jun 6, 2017

The Florida Senate on Monday sent to Gov. Rick Scott the remaining 24 Senate bills passed during the 2017 session, including a major higher-education package and legislation to revamp part of the “stand your ground” self-defense law.

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Recess has returned, but not for charter schools, and state testing will be limited to two weeks. Those are just two of the proposals lawmakers crammed into an education bill that capped off the end of the legislative session.

Lawmakers Reach Agreement On Higher Ed Changes

May 2, 2017

TALLAHASSEE — House and Senate negotiators reached agreement Saturday on the major portions of a higher-education budget that will dramatically expand student financial aid, boost university funding and bring significant policy changes for universities and state colleges.

The Florida House is promising big cut to higher education funding. And it also has another idea for changes that should be made to the system.  The chamber unveiled its answer to one of Senate President Joe Negron’s top priorities this week.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is down.

If those words don't send a shiver up your spine, it means you're not a high school senior or college student rushing to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

The FAFSA is the form — famously complicated and difficult to finish — that stands between many low-income students and the federal, state and institutional aid they need to pay for college.

Colleges Balk At Budget Cuts

Mar 14, 2017

TALLAHASSEE — State college presidents on Friday expressed dismay that the 28-school system is being targeted for three-quarters of the cuts in the Florida Senate's initial plan to trim $131 million in higher-education spending.

“It is of great concern that the first thing out of the chute is a 74 percent reduction impacting the Florida college system and it is directed at programs that support our most at-risk student populations,” said Ed Meadows, president of Pensacola State College and the chairman of the Council of Presidents, which represents all the state colleges.

The Florida Senate has voted on a plan that will bring sweeping changes to the state’s higher-education system.

The Florida Senate has approved wide-ranging changes to the state’s higher education system. It’s a top priority of Senate President Joe Negron. But that doesn’t mean it’s a priority for the House.

Higher Education Package Headed To Senate Vote

Mar 7, 2017

The Florida Senate is poised to approve a major higher-education package that would expand the use of Bright Futures scholarships and tighten graduation standards for universities and state colleges.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday voted to combine the major elements of Senate President Joe Negron's higher-education initiative into one bill (SB 2), which also creates funding pools that will allow state universities to hire and retain top-level faculty and reward outstanding graduate programs.

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New rankings released by U.S. News and World Report say Florida is the number one state in the nation for higher education.

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High school seniors are starting to get their final acceptance letters - hopefully - from the colleges of their choice. While they celebrate, parents are trying to figure out how to pay for it all.

This week on Florida Matters we're talking about the high cost of college and exploring some options for families in need of assistance.

https://www.cafecredit.com/FLICKR

The cost of college can place a heavy burden on students, not to mention parents. This week on Florida Matters we're talking about the high cost of education and have some ideas about how to pay for it.

A Senate plan for changes to the state’s public colleges and universities sailed smoothly through its first panel hearing Monday. Questions mostly centered on how schools could implement block tuition and use a four-year graduation rate as part of the state’s higher ed accountability system.

The future could get a little brighter for some Florida college students. There’s a growing consensus to increase awards for some of the state’s highest academic performers. Legislative and state leaders seem to be in agreement when it comes to lowering the cost of higher ed.

Florida’s higher education coordinating council wants to see more working age Floridians with certifications and degrees.

Like many parents of high school juniors, I'm getting anxious about upcoming college applications and what it'll take to get in, such as doing well on the SAT. Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that the College Board, creator of the SAT,  is debuting a new test in March and these are the first changes in more than a decade.

Cornell University

Three months ago W. Kent Fuchs became president of the University of Florida, leaving New York’s Cornell University.

Fuchs says Florida universities are adding new faculty, but opposition to higher tuition means more pressure to find private donations.

The University of Florida is also expanding a new online program, with a goal of eventually enrolling 24,000 students.

Fuchs sat down with WLRN’s StateImpact Florida reporter John O’Connor to talk about the issues in higher education.

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