Florida higher ed budget: Senate subcommittee considers immediate USF Poly independence, Bright Futures supplement for “upper division” STEM majors

During its meeting yesterday, the Florida Senate Budget Subcommittee on Higher Ed discussed language for a “conforming bill” that would declare USF Polytechnic to be an independent university immediately.  The Florida Board of Governors recently sketched out a long term plan for USF Poly that would eventually result in independence if Poly met a series of benchmarks.  The proposed conforming bill language would supercede the BOG decision.  Here’s a report in the Tampa Bay Times.

There is also a proposal on the table in the same subcommittee to establish an “additional supplement for upper division STEM fields” under the Bright Futures umbrella.

Update (Thursday morning):  I went back to the meeting packet for Tuesday’s Senate Higher Ed budget subcommittee and saw that the STEM supplement is budgeted $19.4 M, which is deducted from the Bright Futures base budget of $350 M.

Update (Thursday morning 10:40 am):  The bill language for the upper division STEM supplements is this (from lines 804-807 of the bill posted in the meeting packet for this morning’s meeting):  “The Legislature may provide in the General Appropriations Act an additional supplement for upper-division courses in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”  In addition, Chair Lynn announced that the budget number for these supplements is $18.4 M, not $19.4 M as posted yesterday.

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