Florida’s Bright Futures under debate


A bill to limit the range of students who can apply for the Bright Futures Scholarship, introduced to Florida’s Congress by Senator Dennis Braxley, was put on hold because of student backlash. The bill passed through the Florida Senate but is now undergoing changes amid the criticism. If introduced, the bill would limit the benefits of the scholarship to select career choices and would no longer give students scholarship credits for advanced placement courses. 

According to a petition made by savebrightfutures.org, “A bill has been proposed in the Florida State Senate that would limit students’ eligibility to receive state-backed financial aid, including Bright Futures, to two years of tuition -a total of 60 credit hours- unless the student enrolls in a designated major or ‘market-driven degree program’ that would lead to direct employment.” 

Information about the bill whipped through social media.

“I actually heard about the bill through social media, a lot of students have been reposting information to spread the word,” Alison Edwards, a Jupiter High junior, said.

The Florida Bright Futures scholarship gives money to outstanding students every year. When students became aware of the bill, the response was swift and condemning.

“It’s not fair that bright futures would take away the credits students have planned to earn from their AP test, especially since many of the classes have already been completed,” Edwards said. “They should not be able to decide what topics a student should study, or be able to cut funding for certain degrees.”

Senator Baxley argued that the scholarship should only be used to incentivize profitable jobs. He said that “if you’re not hirable and you’ve got a lot of debt, that’s just not a bright future.”

“They claim they want to put students on paths that promote economic growth and jobs but what they will end up with is washed up students whose only option is to study one of the state mandated career paths as to make a better life for themselves in the future,” Camil Coss Flores, a Jupiter High junior, said.

Flores, and other students, view the bill as stifling.

“It is absolutely unjust for the state of Florida to regulate what students pursue on any basis,” Flores said. “Since we were born we are groomed to enter the workforce and told a good college education is key. Taking the choice away of what we study is taking away our passions.”

Baxley’s new decisions promise a list to be created of applicable careers, and would also allow for students interested in careers not on the list to request full funding from Bright Futures.

To learn more about the bill, visit https://www.savebrightfutures.org