I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Entitlement Mentality Threatens Bright Futures Scholarships

There is a growing call among some in Florida to reform the Bright Futures Scholarship program.  A pair of editorials last week called on the state to take a student's (and his family's) financial need into account when doling out the awards.

I could not be more strongly opposed to this.

I like Merit based programs-and I believe that the program should continue to operate as a merit based scholarship program.

I understand that the number of students who are attaining the grades necessary to win awards has been steadily increasing--and while this becomes costly I think this is a good thing.

But, what needs to be done is the requirements need to be raised to allow for the revenue available to fit the number of students who meet higher threshhold criteria.  (i.e. higher SAT, higher GPA, etc.)

I agree with reformers who believe that this lottery funded program SHOULD NOT be subsidized by general fund tax revenue from the state--because feeding this program with tax revenue will only intensify the calls for this program to become a "needs based" program rather than a merit based award.

And look at what has happened in Georgia with their HOPE scholarship awards now that that state has instituted a needs assessment for their program.

Let's not do this in Florida-let's not water this program down, let's make it more competitive and raise the bar instead.

To summarize--I believe the money available annually from lottery proceeds should be looked at, and an adjustment to the eligibility criteria made as often as necessary to continue to make this a 100% lottery proceeds funded, competitive, merit based scholarship program.

Telling parents and families that make more than $100K that they "make enough" and do not "need" the scholarship money for their kids is ludicrous-- and ammounts to nothing but socialist class warfare rhetoric.  Luckily for hard working Florida middle class families, I believe our current legislature and Governor wish to keep bright futures a merit based program.  I'm thankful for this.

There are already TONS of needs based, entitlement programs for children from low income households--we don't need to destroy bright futures by buying into the propaganda of the PC, liberal entitlement set.


wayne said...

whatever is done to the program, the idea that everyone is entitled to free college is not realistic.

Anonymous said...

this is a good program meaning our lawmakers will probably wreck it

Damage Inc. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Damage Inc. said...

Had an obvious error in my last post so had to remove it. Jeff, even with our differences I have to say that I 100 percent agree with you on this issue and I thank you for explaining your viewpoint.

Jeff Bergosh said...

I sent this piece in to the PNJ with some elaboration, and it appeared in today's paper--although the PNJ did not attribute it to me as the author, which was a bit peculiar...