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Proposed changes to Bright Futures concern many

TALLAHASSEE — Raising four kids with college-sized ambitions, truck driver Osse Eugene's financial plan has long relied on the prospects of Bright Futures scholarships.

He has pushed his children to study hard in hopes of netting the scholarship, which covers nearly all in-state tuition costs for some 184,000 college students studying in Florida.

But Eugene's attention now is focused less on his children's classroom performance and more on what lawmakers are doing in Tallahassee. The Senate's education committee last week approved a budget measure that raises the scholarship's qualification standards while freezing the amount of money each student will receive, even as tuition rates continue to rocket.

"I don't make enough money to send them to college," the 46-year-old from Hallandale Beach said. "Even to feed them, I barely make it."

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