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. 8 9 Be It Proposed by the Constitution Revision Commission of 10 Florida: 11 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.