Local students continue to fight for future of Bright Future scholarships

Reporter: Sydney Persing Writer: Melissa Montoya
Published: Updated:
The Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee. (Credit: Florida Channel)

While state lawmakers are pushing to change the Bright Futures Scholarship Program, parents and students say they are not giving up.

Students who already qualify for Bright Futures funding are no longer at risk of losing it.

That means Grant Stacey’s scholarship is safe, but he went to Tallahassee to speak against it anyway.

Stacey, a senior at Port Charlotte High School, said the bill was a concern for him.

The Senate Education Committee passed the bill. It now advances to the senate floor.

“My goal is to not necessarily let that discourage me, what can I do next time to have more of an impact,” Stacey said.

Families with younger students would not be grandfathered in, meaning if the student studies a major the state decides won’t lead directly to employment, they won’t get the scholarship.

“It is what we are hanging our entire hat on,” said Gena Gossett, a mom whose child goes to Mariner High School.

Stacey was joined by 70-plus students, teachers and parents who spoke against the bill on Tuesday.

One man said the bill was “government overreach.”

On Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke about the bill during a stop in Naples.

“I’m not exactly sure the details on it but I’ve made it very clear I think Bright Futures is something Florida families rely on” DeSantis said. “I fully funded it in my budget, I support it and I hope the legislature follows suit.”

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