Thursday, May 24, 2018
Education

Immigrant tuition bill inches closer to passage, but hurdles remain

TALLAHASSEE — A bill that would allow some undocumented students to pay in-state college tuition rates won the support of the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday.

But the proposal may be in trouble with Gov. Rick Scott.

Its sponsor, Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, said Tuesday that he plans to have the upper chamber "pass the House (version of the) bill."

Scott has only expressed his support for the Senate version.

The main difference between the two proposals has nothing to do with undocumented students. Instead, it lies in a separate provision regarding the so-called tuition differential.

The Senate language forbids universities from raising tuition above the rate set by the Florida Legislature. The House language allows for a differential of up to 6 percent.

Latvala said he had spoken with House and Senate leaders, and decided the House plan made more sense.

"I think everyone is in agreement on it," he said. "Maybe there are some small differences, but I believe we will work it out."

He plans to change the Senate bill at its next stop, he said.

But Scott, who considers holding the line on tuition one of his top priorities for the session, has made his opinion clear: He likes the Senate version of the tuition bill (SB 1400) because it "keeps college affordable for Florida's students."

Scott has said nothing about the House version of the bill. That proposal, by Rep. Jeanette Nuñez, R-Miami, has already passed the full House.

When asked Tuesday if he would sign the Nuñez proposal (HB 851), Scott reaffirmed his support for the Senate version.

He added: "I'm going to work with the Senate and the House to make sure we have a bill that lowers tuition for all Floridians."

The Senate version of the bill drew emotional public testimony Tuesday. One man from Santa Rosa County implored Republicans not to further divide the party by voting for the bill.

It passed out of the committee by a 7-2 vote.

Latvala, who was expecting the final outcome to be 5-4, said he was pleasantly surprised.

"We still have a way to go," he said. "But I feel very good about this bill."

Contact Kathleen McGrory at [email protected]

Comments
Hillsborough teachers hope to get some, but not all of their raise money

Hillsborough teachers hope to get some, but not all of their raise money

TAMPA — Teachers in Hillsborough County came closer on Wednesday to reaching an agreement with the school district that would give them most, but not all of the pay they expected this past year.The deal, if it happens, will end a year-long conflict t...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Ridgewood High faithful recall ‘Pride of Pasco’ as school forges a new path

Ridgewood High faithful recall ‘Pride of Pasco’ as school forges a new path

NEW PORT RICHEY — The line snaked through the hallways and into the cafeteria, as the Ridgewood High faithful waited for their chance to secure a piece of the school’s 40-year history.They came by the hundreds — current and former students, staff and...
Published: 05/23/18
Words of wisdom from Class of 2018 on how school shootings have transformed them

Words of wisdom from Class of 2018 on how school shootings have transformed them

TAMPA — The pain of the Parkland shootings Feb. 14 was fresh on the minds of Hillsborough County’s graduating seniors when about 300 of them received an assignment. Write a 250-word essay on how decades of school shootings have touched y...
Published: 05/23/18
Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

WEEKI WACHEE — A 16-year-old was arrested Tuesday on allegations that she created a fake social media post threatening to shoot students at Weeki Wachee High School, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said the 16-year-old told...
Published: 05/22/18
Hillsborough school district, teachers move closer to pay deal

Hillsborough school district, teachers move closer to pay deal

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District and its teachers’ union moved closer to resolving their salary dispute during Monday’s negotiating session — but stopped short of reaching an agreement.The teachers, who have spent this school year work...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18
Parents score victory in effort to make travel safer for Westchase students

Parents score victory in effort to make travel safer for Westchase students

TAMPA — Hillsborough County school leaders call it courtesy busing, but to Lauren Hawkins it’s more a matter of life and death.More students living close to their schools in the Westchase community used the Hillsborough school district’s courtesy bus...
Published: 05/21/18
Eckerd College hosts a royal celebration of its own

Eckerd College hosts a royal celebration of its own

A day after England’s royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, St. Petersburg hosted a royal celebration of its own. Among the estimated 500 graduates to receive an Eckerd College diploma at Sunday’s graduation ceremony held...
Published: 05/20/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Hooper: SEL lends a solution to the increasingly toxic world of kids

An incident recently arose between students at Jesuit High School and Academy of the Holy Names that involved allegations of cyberbullying, homophobia, misogyny and assault.It only involved a fraction of the students at two of Tampa’s most prestigiou...
Updated: 9 hours ago
At vigil, another school mourns: ‘It is hope in the face of tragedy that brings us together today.’

At vigil, another school mourns: ‘It is hope in the face of tragedy that brings us together today.’

SANTA FE, Texas - They gathered here by the dozens Friday evening, wearing their school colors, T-shirts that said "Texas Tough," while huddling under the shade of a gaggle of pine trees, not 11 hours after the first shots were fired.They came to pra...
Published: 05/19/18
‘I always felt it would eventually happen here’: A Santa Fe High School survivor’s reaction to the shooting

‘I always felt it would eventually happen here’: A Santa Fe High School survivor’s reaction to the shooting

Paige Curry tried to keep calm Friday morning as a gunman tore through her Santa Fe High School, eventually killing 10 people and injuring another 10. The 17-year-old watched as a girl nearby panicked. Curry, herself terrified, considered running out...
Published: 05/19/18