Senator Bill Galvano

The state Board of Education has approved several new bachelor’s degree programs at what were formerly known as community colleges. The approval comes as some lawmakers look to restrict the board’s authority to approve those programs.

Florida Senate

Baccalaureate degree programs at Florida’s community colleges are under examination this year. The schools have been allowed to create advanced programs they say are aimed at meeting local workforce needs. But some lawmakers believe the schools have gone overboard.

Florida State Senator Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) has introduced a proposal that would take the approval of community college baccalaureate degrees away from the state board of education—and give it to the Legislature.

Florida Board of Governors

Whether Florida will have 11 or 12 public universities is up in the air after the state’s newest school was left out of the budget of the Senate committee overseeing education.

Florida Polytechnic University sprung from the University of South Florida’s polytech program over the opposition of that schools faculty, staff and students. Supporters of Polytech argued the school wouldn’t need any additional funding, but a few months ago Polytech officials floated the idea of requesting an extra $25 million, which was later pulled. 

The Florida Senate has outlined a $1.1 billion spending proposal for K-12th grade education that includes the $480 million Governor Rick Scott has called for to fund teacher pay raises.

Scott has said he wants to see every full-time Florida teacher get a salary increase, but the Senate Appropriations Sub-Committee has other ideas. Under an initial outline, the awarding of pay raises will be left to districts which will draw up plans for distributing the money and send those plans to the Florida Department of Education.

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