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Mon Mar 20, 2017, 11:35 PM

House higher ed bill more lenient than Senate in grad-rate standards

TALLAHASSEE -- A Florida House committee on Monday endorsed its version of a higher-education reform bill, including expanding Bright Futures scholarships and requiring state universities to begin using “block” tuition.

The bill (HB 3), sponsored by Rep. Bryan Avila, R-Hialeah, is the House’s answer to Senate President Joe Negron’s effort (SB 2) to elevate Florida’s higher-education system by increasing scholarship opportunities, tightening performance standards for state colleges and universities and encouraging more students to graduate on time. The Senate bill passed 35-1 in the first week of the legislative session.

The House and Senate bills are similar, but the House is taking a different direction on a number of issues.

Both bills would expand the top-level Bright Futures award for “academic scholars” to cover full tuition and fees for those students who qualify for the merit-based aid. It would also provide $300 for the fall and spring semesters for textbooks and other costs.

Read more: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/house-higher-bill-more-lenient-than-senate-grad-rate-standards/T4xQUvZxJsOQXLPS2waOjI/

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