The Bright Futures Program has created an equal opportunity pathway for Florida public school students to attend college. However, the over 20-year-old program has made headlines and a new piece of legislation circling in the Florida House of Representatives is now worrying parents across the state.
State Senator Shevrin Jones (D-35) took to Twitter last week, where he hinted at addressing the number of black students that are awarded the Bright Futures Scholarship, telling the state of Florida, “let’s figure out why the number of black students receiving Bright Futures since its inception (1997) has never gone over 7%.”
Bright Futures is not an entitlement program, it was created to give a hands UP to students for greater access.
If we want to solve a problem, let’s figure out why the number of black students receiving Bright Futures since it’s inception (1997) has never gone over 7%. pic.twitter.com/f0NeO992lP
— Shevrin “Shev” Jones (@ShevrinJones) March 16, 2021
The Floridian approached Jones last week in the Florida Capitol to ask him about his remarks, where he says he is, “not sure” if the solution to a more diverse Bright Futures is an exterior or interior problem with the program.
Jones continues to believe that Bright Futures is, “Not an entitlement program”, contrary to what Senator Dennis Baxley (R-12) controversially claimed in that Bright Futures is an entitlement program.
The Floridian reached out to Senator Baxley over the weekend to further comment on the fate of the Bright Futures Program in Florida.
The Senator was able to clear the air about his comments, telling us that he, “has a lot of interest in this [Bright Futures] bill."
"We don't want to eliminate any programs if they can inject some other classwork in there that would qualify them for short-term careers, or even extended careers. But we got a problem when a third of graduates aren't reaching stable employment."
Baxley claims that addressing the real Bright Futures problem of not preparing students for the world, on top of student loan debts, doesn't exactly give students a, "Bright Future."
Baxley claims his only ambition is to, "Achieve workforce gains for the work world, and the students to get something out of this and secure a career path. We're not trying to run the University system, but we want to push those two worlds together."