Sen. Wise scholarship plan plods along
With the state budget being cut and cut and cut again, good education programs are either being whacked or whittled (reading coaches), offered up for a delay (virtual schooling) or starting to look like those snowballs in hell (longer school day). But state Sen. Stephen Wise, R-Jacksonville, says he’s still going to give one of his pet ideas a shot during the upcoming legislative session.
As we reported last year, Wise, who chairs the education appropriations committee in the Senate, wants to set up an endowment that could provide scholarships to every low-income sixth-grader who stays in school, avoids trouble with the law and graduates.
He's looking at lottery, slot machine and Indian gaming money to do it, along with private contributions. He thinks if he can pull it off, the incentives for at-risk kids would change behavior enough to cut juvenile crime by 25 percent.
The budget situation will make it tough to get traction, and a committee staff analysis says as much. But "I'm just going to plod along," Wise told the Gradebook. He said he recently presented his idea to Gov. Charlie Crist and has talked to Stan Tate, founder and former chairman of the Florida Prepaid College Board.
Ron Matus, State Education Reporter