The Senate on Monday passed a measure that could lead to state colleges and universities sponsoring charter schools. Senators voted 29-11 to approve the bill (SB 1028), which would allow higher institutions, after receiving the go-ahead from the Department of Education, to solicit applications for charter schools.
Bentley, who joined Seminole State April 5, is a U.S. Army veteran and Palm Coast resident who served for more than 30 years before retiring.
The University of North Florida’s Mednexus hub in Palm Coast’s Town Center will launch in August with 50 students and make $1 million available to them in scholarships. The university received a $1.5 million subsidy from Palm Coast government, one of its chief local partners. Others include Daytona State College and AdventHealth Palm Coast.
The bill would change a system that now provides scholarships to students at either 75 percent or 100 percent of the cost of tuition and fees by making funding dependent on appropriations in the annual state budget, which eliminates guaranteed funding for students.
The proposal also would prevent colleges and universities from “shielding” students, faculty and staff from any kind of speech. Opponents have argued the provision would allow groups like the Ku Klux Klan to come to campuses.
A huge outcry included a student-led opposition campaign causing most controversial parts of the bill to be eliminated. Opponents are now focusing criticism on whether the measure will jeopardize future funding for the program.
Critics of measures targeting transgender student athletes argue the proposals are rooted in fear, misunderstanding and politics as a Florida House panel on Wednesday approved a controversial proposal that would ban transgender girls and women from competing in women’s high-school and college sports.
A controversial Senate proposal that would require Florida state colleges and universities to survey students about “intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity” on campus cleared its first hurdle Tuesday.
While the Palm Coast City Council’s majority supported the subsidy with enthusiasm, Council members Ed Danko and Victor Barbosa opposed awarding some or all of the money to the University of Jacksonville for different reasons, a split that did not exist when the council welcomed the University of North Florida with a $1.5 million subsidy.
Jacksonville University and Palm Coast announced a joint partnership that will open a JU campus in town–the university’s first-ever expansion beyond Jacksonville in its 86-year history–and enroll 150 to 200 full-time students within 24 months. The focus will be health-care education, and more specifically, nursing.