BY BUDDY NEVINS
Gov. Rick Scott’s wants to turn Florida’s universities into trade schools.
Scott wants to pump the Bright Futures scholarships into Science, Technology, engineering and math, the so-called STEM subjects—at the expense of all others.
Achievers in Florida high schools are eligible to use Bright Futures for any subject today. That’s the way it should be.
But Scott’s flawed idea is catching fire in Tallahassee. Lawmakers have a plan to push all the Bright Futures money into those limited subjects.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe we should help STEM students and encourage them to stay in Florida universities.
But the fourth biggest state in the nation should be able to afford financial aid for students of all subjects.
Universities should not be trade school.
Florida can not have top universities by emphasizing just four subjects.
Top universities are places where students learn to think and judge critically…about all types of things.
Like Jeb Bush did. He has a degree in Latin American studies from the University of Texas.
Or Clarence Thomas, who has an undergraduate degree in English. Or Billy Graham who has an undergraduate degree in anthropology.
“We don’t need a lot more anthropologists in the state. It’s a great degree if people want to get it, but we don’t need them here,” Scott said in October to explain why Bright Futures should be steered away from non-STEM subjects.
Maybe he should consider Carly Fiorina, the former HP chairwoman and Republican candidate in California, who has a philosophy degree. Or Ronald Reagan, who was an economic and sociology major.
There is little relation between what a student takes at the university and their future achievements.
It was a lesson Scott obviously didn’t learn in college, which he struggled to pay for.
Scott was a business major, which is not a STEM subject.
He wouldn’t have qualified for a Bright Futures Scholarship under his own plan.
Surprise of surprises: Conservative columnist Steven Kurlander agrees with my basic premise here.