Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan added her voice to the debate over Bright Futures this week, saying lawmakers should reconsider raising the standards needed to qualify for the state-funded scholarships.
"When this bill initially passed, it was a measure to help save the state of Florida money," Jordan said. "However, no one took into account the effect that it would have on college enrollment for Hispanics and African Americans. If the state of Florida implements this plan, they’ll be moving us backwards, not forward."
The Miami-Dade County Commission agreed, and passed a resolution urging state lawmakers to hold the line on Bright Futures awards.
Beginning next year, students will need to post higher scores on the ACT and SAT to qualify for Bright Future scholarships. An analysis from the University of South Florida has projected that the number of college freshman receiving the awards will drop dramatically, with minority students suffering the most.
Lawmakers have filed bills to keep the existing standards in place. But the proposals have not received a hearing, and the session is winding down.