Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) slammed Senate Republicans who are pursuing a bill that would reshape Florida’s Bright Futures college scholarship. The effort looks to provide financial aid to degrees that lead directly to jobs, but opponents argue that it would only result in more college debt and a limit to career choices.
The legislation, SB86, would change how much money students can receive for their awards, which is currently $119,925 for some students. Because of this, a number of opposition groups have risen to protest the bill.
On Twitter, Rep. Wasserman Schultz shared her concern regarding the bill, arguing that “the brain drain and added student debt this bill will cause is immense.” She added that “the Legislature should increase education access, not limit.”
State legislators like Rep. Anna Eskamani (D), who oppose the measure, feels that Bright Futures should be left as is.
"Cutting Bright Futures should be OFF the table," stated Rep. Eskamani. "We need higher education to be more accessible in Florida — not less!"
The brain drain and added student debt this bill will cause is immense. The Legislature should increase education access, not limit it. Shame on @GovRonDeSantis, @FloridaGOP and @DennisBaxley for punishing Florida’s students. https://t.co/JvDNbIlQBc
— Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@RepDWStweets) March 8, 2021
Finally, she expressed her disappointment with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) and Florida Republicans “for punishing Florida’s students.”
Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls (R) has spoken in favor of the bill, mentioning that Florida taxpayers should not have to pay for students in degrees that do not immediately lead them to a job upon graduation.
Sen. Dennis Baxley (R), the Florida lawmaker who filed the bill, said, “I just want students to know that part of this is helping you own your own future rather than view yourself as a dependent, waiting for someone else to take care of this.”