Governor Rick Scott is promising to keep tuition low at the state’s public colleges and universities. It’s on his list of education priorities if he wins a second term. The cost of higher education has consistently been a priority for the governor. Earlier this year, the Florida legislature stripped most public universities of their ability to request tuition hikes. An immediate effect of that move are decreases in the state’s prepaid college program, meaning, more than 56,000 families could see savings.
“Of those folks, approximately 25,000 of them will receive a refund of some kind. Those refunds will range from small amounts $10 up to several thousand dollars, as much as $20,000 in some cases, says Florida Prepaid Spokeswoman Kristen Lock.
The governor continues to push an initiative at state colleges for a $10,000 bachelors degree. Many schools are close to that figure. The federal government says most Florida colleges rank at the top of the nation’s schools with the most affordable tuition.
In a press release, Governor Rick Scott said, "By continuing to invest in our K-12 schools with record per-pupil funding, and keeping college affordable for Florida students, we’ll undo the damage done by Charlie Crist when he cut funding and slammed students by allowing tuition hikes year after year."
The Governor's campaign also released other points on education:
· A record $18.9 billion in funding for public schools – including per-pupil funding of $7,176, the highest in state history
· Creating an independent Florida Standards review committee to examine opportunities for further deregulation opportunities for the school system, instructional material review processes used by school boards, identify strategies to increase parental involvement, and review the implementation of the Florida Standards and the Florida Standards Assessment
· Instructing the Commissioner of Education to conduct a thorough investigation of all standardized tests
· Expanding the Macy’s Teacher of the Year Program by increasing the financial award for Florida’s top teacher to $20,000, providing every school district’s top teacher with $10,000, and increasing the reward for statewide finalists from $5,000 to $15,000.
· Doubling investments in Florida’s digital learning initiatives from $40 million to $80 million
· Increasing funding for school safety by $10 million to over $74 million
· Increasing funds by $5 million for the Just Read, Florida! Office to create a competitive and innovative research-based reading grant program
· Creating a $10 million Math Counts Initiative to help ensure the success of struggling math students
· Investing $20 million in new funds to enhance Technical Education Centers