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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/SB 52 — Postsecondary Education

by Appropriations Committee; Education Committee; and Senators Rodrigues and Baxley

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

Prepared by: Education Committee (ED)

Fee Exemptions

The bill clarifies that a specified postsecondary institution fee exemption applies to a student currently in Department of Children and Families (DCF) or relative or nonrelative custody, under a court guardianship, or adopted from DCF, or who was at the time the student turned 18 years of age.

Dual Enrollment Scholarship Program

The bill establishes the Dual Enrollment Scholarship Program, administered by the Department of Education, to support postsecondary institutions in providing dual enrollment. The bill requires the program:

  • Beginning the 2021 fall term, to reimburse eligible postsecondary institutions for tuition and related instructional materials costs for dual enrollment courses taken by private school or home education program secondary students during the fall or spring terms.
  • Beginning the 2022 summer term, to reimburse institutions for tuition and related instructional materials costs for dual enrollment courses taken by public school, private school, or home education program secondary students during the summer term.

The bill specifies reimbursement rates for Florida College System (FCS) institutions, state universities, and independent postsecondary institutions, as well as reimbursements for instructional materials costs.  

Early College Program

The bill renames the collegiate high school program as the early college program, and defines the program to mean a structured high school acceleration program in which a cohort of students is enrolled full time in postsecondary courses toward an associate degree. The bill requires early college programs to prioritize courses applicable as general education core courses for an associate degree or a baccalaureate degree.

The bill authorizes a charter school to execute a contract directly with the local FCS institution or another authorized institution to establish an early college program.

Bonuses for State University System Employees

The bill authorizes a university board of trustees to implement a bonus scheme based on awards for work performance or employee recruitment and retention. The bill requires the board of trustees to submit to the Board of Governors (BOG) the bonus scheme, including specified criteria, and requires BOG to approve any bonus scheme so created before its implementation.

School Community Professional Development Act

The bill authorizes a public or private college or university with an approved teacher preparation program to develop a professional development system that includes a master plan for inservice activities.

Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program

This bill removes the specification that Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program grant funds must be used for start-up and enhancement, and removes the institutional cap on annual grant awards.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2021.

Vote: Senate 26-14; House 83-32