Controversial changes to Bright Futures being put through legislative process

Published: March 16, 2021 5:47 PM EDT
Updated: March 16, 2021 6:49 PM EDT

Students are worried and frustrated because Florida lawmakers are approving the first steps to change the Bright Futures scholarships.

Proposed changes to Bright Futures would affect students who might not have a clear path to their future.

Florida Senate Republicans want to update Bright Futures by granting scholarship money to students who get college credit in high school and reduce money for students who pursue majors the state decides don’t lead directly to employment.

MORE: SB 86: Student Financial Aid (PDF)

Florida Democrats don’t like those ideas and neither do the more than 70 students and parents and teachers who went to Tallahassee Tuesday.

The bill also does not list which majors would lead to decreased funding.

The measure leaves that up to the board of governors, the board of education and the state universities.

First and foremost, Florida Republicans are pushing for these changes because they argue Bright Futures is not an entitlement program.

Second, the bill encourages colleges to change their curriculums to push students toward what are considered better employment opportunities.

Senators changed the measure before it passed 5-4. They added benefits for foster kids and dropouts who return to school.