WUFT News

Education board vice chair criticizes Gov. Scott’s $10K degree challenge

By and on November 30th, 2012

A $10,000 college degree is not practical — especially after consistent budget cuts. That’s what Florida Board of Education Vice Chair Roberto Martinez wrote Gov. Rick Scott in a letter.

On Monday, Scott challenged Florida’s community and state colleges to create four-year degrees that would cost no more than $10,000.

Martinez criticized the plan, saying it’s not a serious policy and would be “perceived as a gimmick pretending to be a policy used as a sound bite.”

“I think that the announcement by the governor was short on details,” Martinez said.  “The goal of an affordable education, that’s everybody’s goal — and that’s been the goal, in the case of the colleges since they were founded in 1933. Nobody disagrees with the goal. The problem is with the details. I didn’t see any details that went along with it.”

The Florida Democratic Party also criticized the proposal, noting Scott supported a $300 million spending cut for state universities this year and reductions in merit-based Bright Futures scholarships.

Scott’s challenge came just three weeks after his Blue Ribbon Task Force on State Higher Education Reform recommended that Florida’s 12 universities be allowed to increase tuition rates if they meet certain quality criteria. That is something Scott has opposed in the past, although Florida’s tuition rates are among the lowest in the nation.

“Reducing this further, to create a cheap four-year degree, will undermine the quality and value of the education, hurting our students’ chances to compete successfully in our 21st century economy,” Martinez wrote Scott.

Martinez said he hopes his letter will persuade the governor to reconsider the challenge and provide more details.

“The question is where is that money is going to come from,” he said. “The concern I have is that other programs being offered by the colleges, they will be cannibalized to provide a degree for $10,000 as the governor has challenged.”

He recommended that Scott get input from the board of education about how to make higher education more affordable without sacrificing quality.

“I was hoping that he would say that he was going to be asking the legislature to appropriate more funding to the colleges. And I didn’t see any of that.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


This entry was posted in Education, Florida and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Education

CFX8zb6WAAAbh3T

Alachua County Schools Receive $1.2 Million

Gov. Rick Scott awarded a $1,277,312 check to 20 Alachua County schools Tuesday at Stephen Foster Elementary School. The money is part of the Florida School Recognition Program which is giving $124 million to schools statewide.


A file photograph showing textbooks and empty student desks inside an Atlanta, Georgia school.

Community Leaders Sign Education Compact

Community, business, government and education leaders signed a compact aiming to improve educational outcomes and opportunities for students in Alachua County through collaborative efforts. The compact was signed on Monday by 21 people.


Debbie Powell consoles her grandchildren in wake of the decision.

Alachua County School Board Passes Rezoning Plan That Will Dissolve Waldo Community School

The Alachua County School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to consolidate Waldo Community School with Shell Elementary School. The decision marks the end of a hard fought battle for Waldo to keep its school.


Bees

Beekeeping Certification Gives Florida Inmates Skills For A Second Chance

Seventeen inmates in Lake Butler will be the latest class of certified beekeepers from the the Reception and Medical Center’s Beekeeping Program. The Florida Department of Corrections and the Florida Department of Agriculture created the re-entry program for inmates who were about to be released.


Waiting for author to email caption w/ names

Eastside High School Culinary Team Wins Sixth Place In National Competition

Students of Eastside High School’s Institute of Culinary Arts competed in the National Prostart Invitational in Anaheim, California, hosted by the National Restaurant Association. The team came in sixth place.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments