Florida Senate - 2015                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SPB 2508
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: FAV            .                                
                  03/26/2015           .                                

       The Committee on Appropriations (Negron) recommended the
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Between lines 810 and 811
    4  insert:
    5         Section 8. Section 1009.893, Florida Statutes, is amended
    6  to read:
    7         1009.893 Benacquisto Scholarship Florida National Merit
    8  Scholar Incentive Program.—
    9         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   10         (a) “Department” means the Department of Education.
   11         (b) “Scholarship Incentive Program” means the Benacquisto
   12  Scholarship Florida National Merit Scholar Incentive Program.
   13         (2) The Benacquisto Scholarship Florida National Merit
   14  Scholar Incentive Program is created to reward any Florida high
   15  school graduate who receives recognition as a National Merit
   16  Scholar or National Achievement Scholar and who initially
   17  enrolls in the 2014-2015 academic year or, later, in a
   18  baccalaureate degree program at an eligible Florida public or
   19  independent postsecondary educational institution.
   20         (3) The department shall administer the scholarship
   21  incentive program according to rules and procedures established
   22  by the State Board of Education. The department shall advertise
   23  the availability of the scholarship incentive program and notify
   24  students, teachers, parents, certified school counselors, and
   25  principals or other relevant school administrators of the
   26  criteria.
   27         (4) In order to be eligible for an award under the
   28  scholarship incentive program, a student must:
   29         (a) Be a state resident as determined in s. 1009.40 and
   30  rules of the State Board of Education;
   31         (b) Earn a standard Florida high school diploma or its
   32  equivalent pursuant to s. 1002.3105, s. 1003.4281, s. 1003.4282,
   33  or s. 1003.435 unless:
   34         1. The student completes a home education program according
   35  to s. 1002.41; or
   36         2. The student earns a high school diploma from a non
   37  Florida school while living with a parent who is on military or
   38  public service assignment out of this state;
   39         (c) Be accepted by and enroll in a Florida public or
   40  independent postsecondary educational institution that is
   41  regionally accredited; and
   42         (d) Be enrolled full-time in a baccalaureate degree program
   43  at an eligible regionally accredited Florida public or
   44  independent postsecondary educational institution during the
   45  fall academic term following high school graduation.
   46         (5)(a) An eligible student who is a National Merit Scholar
   47  or National Achievement Scholar and who attends a Florida public
   48  postsecondary educational institution shall receive a
   49  scholarship an incentive award equal to the institutional cost
   50  of attendance minus the sum of the student’s Florida Bright
   51  Futures Scholarship and National Merit Scholarship or National
   52  Achievement Scholarship.
   53         (b) An eligible student who is a National Merit Scholar or
   54  National Achievement Scholar and who attends a Florida
   55  independent postsecondary educational institution shall receive
   56  a scholarship an incentive award equal to the highest cost of
   57  attendance at a Florida public university, as reported by the
   58  Board of Governors of the State University System, minus the sum
   59  of the student’s Florida Bright Futures Scholarship and National
   60  Merit Scholarship or National Achievement Scholarship.
   61         (6)(a) To be eligible for a renewal award, a student must
   62  earn all credits for which he or she was enrolled and maintain a
   63  3.0 or higher grade point average.
   64         (b) A student may receive the scholarship incentive award
   65  for a maximum of 100 percent of the number of credit hours
   66  required to complete a baccalaureate degree program, or until
   67  completion of a baccalaureate degree program, whichever comes
   68  first.
   69         (7) The department shall annually issue awards from the
   70  scholarship incentive program. Before the registration period
   71  each semester, the department shall transmit payment for each
   72  award to the president or director of the postsecondary
   73  educational institution, or his or her representative, except
   74  that the department may withhold payment if the receiving
   75  institution fails to report or to make refunds to the department
   76  as required in this section.
   77         (a) Each institution shall certify to the department the
   78  eligibility status of each student to receive a disbursement
   79  within 30 days before the end of its regular registration
   80  period, inclusive of a drop and add period. An institution is
   81  not required to reevaluate the student eligibility after the end
   82  of the drop and add period.
   83         (b) An institution that receives funds from the scholarship
   84  incentive program must certify to the department the amount of
   85  funds disbursed to each student and remit to the department any
   86  undisbursed advances within 60 days after the end of regular
   87  registration.
   88         (c) If funds appropriated are not adequate to provide the
   89  maximum allowable award to each eligible student, awards must be
   90  prorated using the same percentage reduction.
   91         (8) Funds from any award within the scholarship incentive
   92  program may not be used to pay for remedial coursework or
   93  developmental education.
   94         (9) A student may use an award for a summer term if funds
   95  are available and appropriated by the Legislature.
   96         (10) The department shall allocate funds to the appropriate
   97  institutions and collect and maintain data regarding the
   98  scholarship incentive program within the student financial
   99  assistance database as specified in s. 1009.94.
  100         (11) Section 1009.40(4) does not apply to awards issued
  101  under this section.
  102         (12) A student who receives an award under the scholarship
  103  program shall be known as a Benacquisto Scholar.
  104         (13)(12) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules
  105  necessary to administer this section.
  107  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  108  And the title is amended as follows:
  109         Delete line 52
  110  and insert:
  111         requiring the boards to adopt rules; amending s.
  112         1009.893, F.S., changing the name of the “Florida
  113         National Merit Scholar Incentive Program” to the
  114         “Benacquisto Scholarship Program”; providing that a
  115         student who receives the scholarship award under the
  116         program be referred to as a Benacquisto Scholar;
  117         conforming provisions to changes made by the act;
  118         providing an