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

**Tenley was emailed to verify that she made this. Credit it accordingly once she responds.**

Two Years After Grant Ends, Alachua County Schools See Little Improvement

Alachua County schools received a $2 million grant five years ago. Three of the schools that benefited greatly from the money haven’t seen much improvement in their school grades.


Students at Stephen Foster Elementary School learn the basics of nutrition education from retired University of Florida dietetics professor Dr. Pam McMahon. Kids in the Kitchen is a county wide program sponsored by the Department of Children and Families, UF and the USDA. Photo courtesy of Bailey Bruce / Foster Elementary Afterschool Coordinator.

New Program Hopes To Bring Nutritional Education To Elementary Schools

Stephen Foster Elementary School is the first elementary school to participate in Kids in the Kitchen, a program that teaches students about nutritional food options and food preparation. The program was started by Pamela McMahon, Ph.D., a retired University of Florida faculty member and registered dietician.


Screen Shot

UF Students Welcome Bill Proposing Tax-Free Textbooks

A new law in Florida could help students save money on expensive textbooks. The bill looks to eliminate the sales tax from textbooks to give students a break on the hundreds they already spend on required texts.


Students at Sante Fe College have opportunities to seek baccalaureate degrees in many areas of study. Santa Fe is one of 28 state colleges in Florida, which offer a combined 175 baccalaureate degree programs.

Four-Year Degree Limitation Proposed By State Senator Sparks Debate

Senator Joe Negron proposed to limit baccalaureate programs in Florida community colleges in a recent Senate Higher Education Committee. Santa Fe provost Ed Bonahue argues that the attention should be placed on enrollment, not the programs.


DSC_0319

Scott Plans To Reduce Standardized Testing Statewide

An executive action to be issued by Governor Scott would reduce the number of tests Florida students are required to take. Subsequent legislation would eliminate progress-monitoring requirements, make certain exams optional and reassess how to evaluate teachers in public schools.


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