Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Florida Governor Rick Scott Signs Landmark Education Bill

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- In his book Democracy In America, Alexis de Tocqueville remarked about 19th Century Americans' attitudes towards higher education that:

"At fifteen they enter upon their calling, and thus their education ends at the age when ours begins.  Whatever is done afterwards is with a view to some special and lucrative object; a science is taken up as a matter of business, and the only branch of it which is attended to is such as admits of an immediate practical application." 

Nearly two hundred years later, Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed a Florida education bill into law that revives the what's-it-worth? American attitude towards education by placing an emphasis on Florida students being prepared for college and careers with the necessary skills to compete for jobs.

"As I travel the state, families tell me they worry about three things:  getting a great job, a quality education, and keeping their cost of living low," Florida Governor Rick Scott said. "This legislation helps us take a giant step forward toward that goal."

The Governor's office said that for high school students, the legislation will create pathway to a diploma that can be meaningful for students going on to college or a career by demonstrating the skills required for high school graduation, including earning national industry certifications in over 200 different professions, occupations and careers.  This means students will be able to graduate from high school and have the specialized qualifications to get a job. 

For college students, the legislation requires that the Florida’s university system provide bachelor’s degrees for $10,000 or less in tuition and directs the Board of Governors and the State Board of Education to create metrics that let Floridians know how well state universities and colleges are doing.  The metrics include: percent of graduates employed or enrolled in further education, average wages of employed graduates and average cost per graduate.

“This legislation transforms our education system and is an important step to ensuring the success of our future workforce who are students in our classrooms today," Scott said.