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HB 5201 — Postsecondary Education Funding

by Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee and Rep. O'Toole (SB 1992 by Budget Committee)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Budget Committee (BC)

  • Establishes the Florida Virtual Campus to provide access to online student and library support services, to serve as a statewide resource and clearinghouse for postsecondary education distance learning courses and degree programs and to increase student access and completion of degrees.
  • Establishes a Degree Completion Pilot Program to recruit, recover, and retain adult learners and assist them in completing degrees aligned to high-wage, high-skill, and workforce needs.
  • Increases the surcharge for excess credit hours.
  • Authorizes the Board of Governors to transfer unused Student and Other Fees Trust Fund authority between institutions, and restricts universities’ ability to transfer funds in excess of $1 million to and from satellite campuses.
  • Maintains the salary limitation on the amount of state funds that may be used for salaries of Florida College System and State University presidents and administrative employees in Fiscal Year 2012-13.
  • Provides that a full-time student, co-enrolled in a K-12 education program and an adult general education program, may be reported for funding for two courses in an adult education program in Fiscal Year 2012-2013.
  • Shortens the length of time from 3 years to 2 years that a student is eligible to accept the initial Bright Futures Scholarship after high school graduation.
  • Clarifies that students enrolled in the Spring/Summer University of Florida pilot program are authorized to receive a Bright Futures Scholarship award for only two semesters each year.
  • Clarifies that students are required to annually submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Limits allowable uses for the Bright Futures Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship to vocational programs.
  • Requires the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers (FFMT) and the Florida Education Fund (FEF) to provide financial reports on an annual basis.
  • Requires the FFMT to use a contingency collection agency to recoup scholarship repayments from students in default.
  • Eliminates a statutory FEF law scholarship program which is no longer utilized.
  • Revises matching requirements for the FEF, the Jose Marti and Mary McLeod Bethune Scholarship Programs.
  • Requires coalitions to maximize purchasing power for higher education institutions.
  • Requires the Auditor General to notify the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee of any audit review which indicates that a state university or state college has failed to take corrective action in response to a recommendation which was included in the two preceding audit reports.
  • Requires audits with significant findings for the Florida College System, State University System, and School Boards to be presented and discussed in a public board meeting.
  • Authorizes the University of Florida to exceed the 5% bonding limitation on the Activity and Service (A&S) fee to fund the renovation and expansion of the student union.
  • Establishes a Workforce Education scholarship pilot program for Adults with Disabilities for up to 30 students for 2 years in Hardee, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.
  • Allows universities to enter into local development agreements to identify and negotiate plans to mitigate the impact of specific projects and the corresponding affects on local governments, notwithstanding ss. 1013.30 and 1013.51, F.S.
  • Increases the limit of the Capital Improvement Fee from 10% to 20% of tuition for Florida colleges, and for state universities indexes the Capital Improvement Fee to 10% of tuition, but limits increases to no more than $2 per credit hour per year.
  • Authorizes university budget transfers in the current fiscal year up to $2 million.
  • Provides for name change of South Florida Community College to South Florida State College, contingent upon accreditation by SACS.
  • Requires employment agreements, contracts, renewals or renegotiation of existing contracts for presidents, administrative and instructional staff to include provisions relating to severance required in s. 215.425, F.S.
  • Deletes a provision providing for a Florida College System institution in some circumstances to apply for an exemption from SBOE approval of additional baccalaureate degree programs.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect upon becoming law and on July 1, 2012.

Vote: Senate 38-1; House 77-33