Fla. Senate Proposes Ending Prepaid Tuition Program

TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – If you haven’t signed your child up for the Florida prepaid tuition program, then you’re out of luck if the new Senate budget is adopted.

The Senate budget will close the prepaid tuition program to new enrollment, except for the Stanley Tate STARS scholarship for at risk students. The proposal first surfaced Thursday when the Senate released its higher education budget, according to the News Service of Florida.

Existing pre-paid tuition program participants would be able to continue investing in their plans, but after a certain future date, the program would cease to exist.

The proposed higher education budget in the Senate is $6.8 billion, or roughly $320.3 million less than last year’s budget. Part of the drop in funding is from the loss of federal stimulus funds which Republicans slammed, but also were quick to use to fill in budget gaps.

State Senator Evelyn Lynn told the News Service of Florida that she feared the state was taking on too much debt through the program.

“The state is totally obligated should something fail,” Lynn said.

The measure would still have to go through the House, which hasn’t indicated if it’s in favor of getting rid of the prepaid plan.

Senate budget writers are also considering reducing the merit-based Bright Futures scholarship by $1,000 per student. Both chambers are also considering making the eligibility requirements tougher for the scholarships.

  • duane

    I wouldn’t want my kid in this state, Let alone in a school down here!

  • Jonathan

    This is the worst state for education. Surprise the rich don’t use public education so it is not important to the Republican party

  • Shannah

    Who elected this congress? Geez Louise, people! Can this group of politicians say “Kiss my arse” any clearer? The governor has already proposed that education take a 72% brunt of the budget cuts; he’s already said that he will sign the death knell measure of merit pay for teachers; and now even the prepaid college program, something people put their money into, is possibly getting the axe (and hopefully you saw the end of the article where the Bright Futures scholarship will be tougher to get and reduced by $1k). The blatant disregard of the future is startling. People complain about paying $7k per year for a kid to get educated but have no problem shelling out $20k a year for a prisoner to get housed, medically treated, fed, and, oh yeah, educated. I’d rather educate the child so I wouldn’t have to later incarcerate/support the criminal. I don’t understand why people don’t get that.

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