Report: Fix Bright Futures
When Florida lawmakers created the Bright Futures scholarship, they aligned the criteria with advanced high school academic achievement hoping, in part, it would drive upward the performance of the state's students.
A University of Michigan researcher argues in a new paper that the state didn't attain that objective, noting a decline in SAT scores and graduation rates among other indicators.
"Given the Bright Futures Scholarship Program did not produce all of the intended results and the deteriorating financial conditions in Florida and the U.S., it is an opportune time to consider a wide range of reforms to the program," writes professor Edward St. John of Michigan's Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education.
Among his conclusions:
"Bright Futures can be altered to promote access in the financial environment Florida is now facing by: 1) freezing the maximum award for students without financial need; 2) raising the maximum award for students with demonstrated need; and 3) using needs analysis to determine additional amounts needed above the base award."
Legislators have lately eased off their hands-off approach to the popular scholarship. Time will tell if this paper influences them to act.