Lawmakers consider more money for Bright Futures scholarships

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida could provide more money to help college students under an ambitious proposal that’s ready for a vote by the Florida Senate.

A Senate panel on Thursday approved an overhaul of the state’s higher education system that is a top priority for Senate President Joe Negron. The full Senate could vote on the measure in March. Companion measures are currently making their way through the Florida House.

The bill (SB 2) would require the state to cover 100 percent of tuition costs for top performing high school students who attend a public university or college in the state. It is estimated that, if passed, about 45,000 students would benefit for the upcoming school year.

Florida used to pay 100 percent of tuition for those eligible for the top Bright Futures scholarship but it was scaled back during the Great Recession.

The legislation also beefs up other scholarship programs and creates one that would assist farmworkers and the children of farmworkers.

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