CRC - 2017                                                  P 60
       By Commissioner Johnson
       johnsonm-00014-17                                       201760__
    1                        A proposal to create                       
    2         Section 8 in Article IX of the State Constitution to
    3         require the Legislature to annually appropriate
    4         certain funds to be used towards postsecondary
    5         education financial assistance and to establish
    6         conditions on a student’s eligibility to receive such
    7         financial assistance.
    9  Be It Proposed by the Constitution Revision Commission of
   10  Florida:
   12         Section 8 is added to Article IX of the State Constitution
   13  to read:
   14                             ARTICLE IX                            
   15                              EDUCATION                            
   16         SECTION 8. Financial assistance.—
   17         (a) Postsecondary education is fundamentally a public good
   18  necessary for the creation and the maintenance of a skilled
   19  workforce and a vibrant economy in this state. It is therefore a
   20  paramount duty of the state to ensure the affordability of
   21  postsecondary education to the residents of this state,
   22  especially those residents of above-average merit or substantial
   23  financial need. In order to ensure the affordability of
   24  postsecondary education, beginning with the 2019-2020 fiscal
   25  year, the legislature shall, at a minimum, annually appropriate
   26  an amount equal to 100 percent of tuition and other fees for
   27  students qualifying for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship
   28  Program or the Florida Public Student Assistance Grant Program.
   29         (b) At a minimum, a student must be in the 75th percentile
   30  of academic achievement to qualify for a scholarship under the
   31  Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The student shall
   32  apply for the scholarship before earning a high school diploma
   33  or high school equivalency diploma, or completing a home
   34  education program, and enroll in an eligible public or private
   35  postsecondary institution in this state within three academic
   36  years of graduation or separation from active military duty
   37  initiated upon graduation.
   38         (c) A student must demonstrate an annual unmet financial
   39  need of at least $200 to qualify for a grant under the Florida
   40  Public Student Assistance Grant Program. The student shall apply
   41  for the Pell Grant or similar federal financial aid and enroll
   42  in an eligible public or private postsecondary institution in
   43  this state.
   44         (d) A student may use a scholarship or grant provided under
   45  this section toward the earning of any postsecondary credential.