Only in Florida, the senator wants to limit university scholarships
Florida is a state with California challenges, led by an Alabama legislature.
This line is legendary attributed to Dave Berry, the columnist, comedian and author. I have worked for the Florida legislature on several occasions and can attest to its accuracy. Regardless, I mostly stopped using the line because it’s mean to Alabama for no good reason.
The Florida legislature has, after all, banned sex at one point. If you haven’t heard the story of this accomplishment, in 2011, in their third attempt at nothing less, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 344, which prohibited “knowingly engaging in sexual behavior or sexual contact with an animal”.
Now ignoring that until 2011 sex with animals was legal in Florida, or that it took the legislature three attempts to ban it, or that the law only prohibits these acts when you do them “knowingly” – which raises infinitely more questions than it answers – Florida’s brain apparently failed to realize that humans are animals.
It does not matter however, because the law has just made it illegal to have sex “knowingly”.
Another time, I remember a senator from Florida who insisted that General Revenue appear before her committee to answer questions about the state budget. His name was all over the document, she said, but she had never met the man. So vulgar.
Not wanting to be left behind, another senator from Florida is apparently eager to enter Florida’s Dumbest Idea Contest. It’s a tough competition, but – spoiler alert – this one has a chance to go all the way.
Florida has a “Bright Futures” scholarship program that was designed around a simple premise: If high school students in Florida get out of trouble, get good grades, and get accepted into an accredited Florida college or university, the state will pay for a good part of their university education. The legislator has made the program unnecessarily complicated. Yet over the past 25 years, Florida has spent about $ 6.8 billion to send about 880,000 students to college.
Not so fast, however. Now Republican Senator Bill Baxley filed an invoice limit Bright Futures scholarships only to majors and to programs “which lead directly to employment”.
And here is your winner. Even the sex ban was not so short-sighted.
First, there’s the obvious problem that Baxley wants to turn an open scholarship into a limited professional training program, erasing his intent and a big incentive for Florida’s best and brightest students to stay in Florida for the sake of it. university. Facing a some drought among students, giving tens of thousands of incoming students a reason to look elsewhere is a Sunshine State Special.
Then there is also the issue of who will decide which college programs “lead directly to employment” and exactly what Cassadaga level tarot card reading will require.
Bill Baxley says the state will list ‘direct to employment’ college programs based on ‘national, state and regional demand’ as well as’ occupations, current job openings, estimates growth in employment and wages. ”
As good as it sounds, Florida can’t know what the “good jobs” will be years from now. Nobody can. If you’re trying to fill a job in five or six years, using today’s help-seeking ads seems like a foolish approach. But, again, this is Florida. Foolish is Florida’s biggest export.
Since the Baxley plan is little more than a bad idea at this point, we can’t be sure what types of college programs will make Florida’s good list and what students won’t be able to learn with them. scholarship funds that were promised to them. Nonetheless, given that this is Florida, it is highly likely that the state will ignore the evidence and put things like computer coding and blockchain on its ‘good’ list while setting options aside. liberal arts such as English, history or sociology.
This is what you would expect from Florida, as there is a lot of evidence that students who study liberal arts subjects earn more money and have better long-term jobs. Certainly, studying STEM fields will allow you to start your career faster. but the benefits will wear off overtime. In addition, employers and recruiters said loud and clear that the most valued professional skills are those related to mindset, learning and communication – the things you learn by studying things like psychology and sociology.
For the record, Baxley, who did not respond to an interview request, obtained his liberal arts degree in psychology and sociology.
Worse yet, according to his bill, the list of things the state will allow you to study with your scholarship money will be updated every year. This means that a student could enter college with a Bright Futures scholarship and agree to study one of the state-blessed subjects, only to see it unblessed when economic, technological, or political winds change. Then what ? To abandon? Throw away the previous investment and start over in a newly approved topic? Take Student Loans To Complete?
Any state policy that could cause more students to leave the state, drop out, change courses, or get into debt is bad. But this idea is not about what is good for students or the state.
Baxley is most likely just political, following other politicians trying to poke fun at liberal arts and learning from books, trying to get the state out of the business of making better, smarter citizens, trying to to turn education into a cold, crude, monetary calculation. Being both cynical and myopic, this post from Baxley is so perfectly (cheff’s-kiss) in Florida.
How to pay for kids to go to college is a California-level challenge. Perhaps surprisingly, Florida has done a decent job lately. But even the Alabama state scholarship program doesn’t limit the rewards based on what a student wants to study. So, of course, the Florida Senate wants it.