We urgently need you to OPPOSE this bill today!
SB 86 (Baxley) Student Financial Aid will be heard in the Senate Education Committee tomorrow, March 9 at 3:30 pm ET, and we urgently need you to OPPOSE it today. This bill wants to limit Bright Futures Scholarships to those high-performing students who major in "approved" fields of study that lead directly to jobs after graduation, as determined annually by the Board of Governors and the State Board of Education.
Never mind that liberal and fine arts degrees have given us award-winning thespians, legal scholars, and Nobel-winning writers through the years. Never mind that the best medical schools have encouraged their applicants to understand the human condition through studies other than just biochemistry or biology so that they possess a shred of humanity at the bedside of their patients. Never mind that we need more than STEM majors to make this world a beautiful place.
None of that matters. And to pour more gasoline on the fire of your emotions, remember that these are the same Republicans who purport to be worried about intellectual diversity and freedom in our colleges this year. Grrrr........
Here are some additional talking points:
Bright Futures has aided 2.7 million students with more than $6.2 billion dollars since 1997 [Student opposition mounts against scaling back Bright Futures scholarships (politico.com)];
According to the U.S. News & World Report [The Florida ScoreBoard - State University System of Florida (flbog.edu)], Bright Futures scholarships are a key element in Florida being named #1 in the U.S. for higher education each year 2017-2019;
Bright Futures is intended to reward and keep the best and the brightest talent in Florida. But now, because some of these high-achieving students want to major in history or theatre or English literature, they are told they are "bupkis" by the Republican Legislature.
This bill is a kick in the teeth to those parents and students who have the right to be proud of their K-12 educational achievements over many years, only to learn that now the Republican Legislature wants to yank the rug out from under them financially.
This year the Republican-controlled Legislature not only wants to implode our K-12 public school system, it also wants to limit higher education access and opportunities to its citizens.
I urge you to fight against this bill for the sake of your child, your grandchild, and the future of Florida. Contact the following Senators before tomorrow and tell them to vote "NO" on this short-sighted and myopic bill.
Chair: Senator Joe Gruters (R)firstname.lastname@example.org(850) 487-5023
Vice Chair: Senator Shervin D. "Shev" Jones (D)email@example.com(850) 487-5039
Senator Lori Berman (D)firstname.lastname@example.org(850) 487-5031
Senator Manny Diaz, Jr. (R)email@example.com(850) 487-5036
Senator Travis Hutson (R)firstname.lastname@example.org(850) 487-5007
Senator Kathleen Passidomo (R)email@example.com(850) 487-5028
Senator Tina Scott Polsky (D)firstname.lastname@example.org(850) 487-5029
Senator Perry E. Thurston, Jr. (D)email@example.com(850) 487-5033
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