Governor signs massive education bill

Florida Education
Posted at 6:05 PM, Apr 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-22 14:51:06-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)--The governor's signature is now on a bill aimed at reforming Florida's education system.

It's a move lawmakers say will transform education and lead to more students getting jobs.

It's a signature educators and lawmakers had been waiting for, the governor has signed the bill that's being called the landmark education legislation.

"This bill is going to be great for our families, students, and make sure my children or my grandchildren can live in the great state of Florida because they can get a great job because i know that they can get a great education," said Gov. Rick Scott, R-Florida.

The new law changes up graduation requirements and allows students to choose separate pathways for careers-students could take courses related to their desired job or subjects to get them college ready

Scotty Crowe, Assistant Superintendent for Leon county schools says this will definitely benefit the local economy.

"We can meet the demands of the job market with having students that are ready and prepared through high school to step right in career ready positions," said Crowe.

It also calls for changes to testing requirements. Students would be allowed to substitute industry related courses of their choice for some subjects like Algebra II, Chemistry, and Physics.

But lawmakers say their plans have been criticized.

"This is not flip-flopping at all, this is really a realignment and adjustment to our graduation requirements, and it's a great adjustment," said Sen. Bill Montford, D-Florida.

Its a great adjustment that could keep more kids in schools.

"There were some additional graduation requirements that we believe essentially would've forced more students to drop out rather than pursuing high school graduation," said Barbara Jenkins, Orange County Schools Superintendent.

Universities like Florida State and University of Florida will receive performance based funding for offering programs for computer and technology degree programs. The measure also gives UF funding to create a complete online bachelors degree programs.

The lawmakers say these sweeping changes do call for much more funding from the state. The funding is now being worked out between the senate and the house in budget conferencing as they try to hammer out the state's budget.

Once lawmakers finish up they're expected to release the dollar amount for how much these education changes will cost.