The Lakeland Ledger reported today that the language of Senate bills 1366 and 1368 on STEM education at the K-12 and postsecondary levels has been inserted into a new House bill, HB 7135. With that action, the Senate proposals, both authored by next year’s Senate President Don Gaetz, appear to be headed toward final legislative approval.
The bills require students at the middle school level and higher to be informed about the economic prospects for different career paths. They also provide bonus points in grading high schools for students taking math and science courses beyond the minimum graduation requirements and authorize the setting aside of up to $15 million to be awarded to universities producing the most graduates in information technology.
Some outside analysts gave Gaetz’s proposals little chance of success at the beginning of the legislative session. But it’s always a bad idea to bet against a rising Senate President.