Saturday, November 18, 2017
Education

FSU, UF presidents lobby Rick Scott over tuition-hike bill

RECOMMENDED READING


TALLAHASSEE — Two university presidents seeking flexibility to raise tuition made big promises to Gov. Rick Scott as they lobbied him Thursday to sign a bill giving them that power.

In response, a still undecided Scott fired off questions about how the extra money would help universities deliver on their pledges to fuel the economy and prepare more high-skilled graduates for the workforce.

The public meeting with Scott comes a week before Scott has to act on the measure, HB 7129.

The bill, known as the pre-eminence bill, would require that universities meet 11 of 14 benchmarks — like high research activity and high GPAs among incoming freshmen — before they're able to raise tuition to the "market-rate." Right now only the University of Florida and Florida State University meet that threshold.

Presidents of both universities applauded the bill for that extra accountability. In addition to meeting the benchmarks, they'd also have to spell out how the extra dollars are spent and gain approval from their individual boards of trustees and the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the state university system.

"It doesn't make sense to charge the same price no matter what you deliver," said FSU president Eric Barron.

Scott said he understands the need for improved education, but he's also hearing from students and parents who are concerned about not being able to afford college.

"If we are going to spend more money in an area, if we are going to expect our students and our families to spend more money, what are we going to get for it?" he told reporters after the meeting. "That's what's going to be important for families."

UF president Bernie Machen has said he would aim for the national average starting with 2013's incoming freshmen. Machen would keep that tuition rate flat for those students for four years, adding an extra incentive for them to graduate on time. He said he wants to use the money to hire more faculty.

Barron hasn't said how much he hopes to increase tuition, but he said the extra money would go to programs to train entrepreneurs and meet the state's push for graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.

Comments
Pasco school district proposes future changes to west-side elementary and middle school zones

Pasco school district proposes future changes to west-side elementary and middle school zones

Plans to erase the attendance boundaries for Ridgewood High School have grabbed all the attention.But the Pasco County school district also has proposed changes to west-side elementary and middle school zones for consideration this fall.They’re just ...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17
At St. Petersburg High, alums push to complete private funding for home field improvements

At St. Petersburg High, alums push to complete private funding for home field improvements

ST. PETERSBURG — The athletic facilities at St. Petersburg High are just like Bob Carter remembers from 50 years ago.He recalls it all fondly: The concession stands, ticket booths and bathrooms are still the same. The track is still outdated asphalt,...
Published: 11/15/17
In union push at USF, adjunct professors strive for more respect and a living wage

In union push at USF, adjunct professors strive for more respect and a living wage

TAMPA — Robert Ryan cleaned out his office in May. He knew he was dying.He had kept driving to the University of South Florida even as he lost the use of his left arm. He had kept teaching English, even as tumors ravaged his mouth so that he could ha...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Hillsborough Education Foundation, Yoobi team to surprise students

Hillsborough Education Foundation, Yoobi team to surprise students

The kids at Bing Elementary knew something special was about to happen when a six-foot white dog with a "target" over his right eye walked into the classroom.And they were right.On Tuesday (Nov. 14), volunteers and corporate supporters joined the Hil...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/16/17
New aviation programs at PHSC help propel students toward dreams

New aviation programs at PHSC help propel students toward dreams

DADE CITY — Dustin Snodgrass has a photograph of himself as a child in the pilot’s seat of a kid-size model airplane. Snodgrass, now 28, recently took a big step toward his goal of flying real aircraft with his first solo flight through a new profess...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/16/17
Hillsborough teachers show up in the hundreds to clamor for promised raises

Hillsborough teachers show up in the hundreds to clamor for promised raises

TAMPA — A weeks-long salary standoff between the Hillsborough County School District and its teachers hit an emotional peak Tuesday as hundreds of teachers and students turned out to ask the School Board for their promised raises."War has been declar...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/15/17
Romano: Sorry teachers, you simply can’t win this one

Romano: Sorry teachers, you simply can’t win this one

When it comes to your principles, there is no shame in putting up a fight.You can fight City Hall, and you can fight the power. According to the song, you can fight the law. You can even fight the good fight, whatever that means.But you cannot fight ...
Published: 11/14/17
Hillsborough teachers plan School Board protest today as tensions heat up over pay

Hillsborough teachers plan School Board protest today as tensions heat up over pay

Today is the last time the Hillsborough County School Board will gather before the Thanksgiving break, but the usual pre-holiday vibe may be muted in a district that has fallen on anxious times.Hundreds of teachers are expected to show up in protest ...
Published: 11/14/17
With $15 million donation to USF, top donors urge others to follow their lead

With $15 million donation to USF, top donors urge others to follow their lead

TAMPA — The university had already hit its $1 billion fundraising goal, and the college sweethearts had already cemented their spot as the top donors to their beloved alma mater.At a black tie gala at Amalie Arena on Saturday, though, philanthropic g...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/11/17
Teachers in Hillsborough decide that for a week they will ‘work the contract’

Teachers in Hillsborough decide that for a week they will ‘work the contract’

TAMPA — Teachers in Hillsborough County will "work the contract" for a week after Thanksgiving to illustrate their dissatisfaction with treatment from the school district.That means no late meetings or phone calls with parents and no grading papers a...
Published: 11/10/17