In politics, let alone political elections, education remains a hot topic as it combines various issues such as the economy, jobs market, foreign policy, etc. Various education problems include the rising cost of college tuition, jobs markets, and so forth. Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, has issued a challenge
to state colleges. The challenge is simple and blunt: provide a bachelor's degree program that does not cost over $10K. In this respect, $10K is the limit that bachelor's degrees cannot go over in order to meet the challenge. This has come with both praise and criticism. Despite criticism, there are schools willing to take the challenge. Scott issued this challenge when he was speaking at St. Petersburg College.
Bill Law, the president of St. Petersburg College, thinks they can make this work and meet up Scott's challenge. This proposal will neither affect the 12-school university system nor Hillsborough Community College. However, the proposal does apply to the 28-school state system. Scott challenged colleges to get creative and find ways for schools find offer degree programs at just $10K. Scott said that lowering the costs will not affect the quality. He said that businesses have to find ways to become more efficient through uses of technology, the Internet, etc.
In an ABC Action News article
, this challenge was nicknamed “bargain four-year degrees.” The target time to start offering those degrees is in Fall of 2013.
There are colleges that are looking forward to and taking up the challenge. In the Jackson County Floridian, it is reported that Chipola College
is taking up Scott's challenge for a $10K degree program. Naples News reports that Edison State College
as being one of the schools of taking up the challenge issued by Scott. Northwest Florida State College
and Daytona State College
have taken up the challenge as reported respectively by NWF Daily News and the Daytona Beach News Journal.
However, this is met with opposition and skepticism. In the Huffington Post article, it mentioned several parties that criticize Scott's challenge. One party is Roberto Martinez who is the vice-chairman of the state Board of Education. Martinez said that his challenge isn't a serious policy and added that this will only be perceived as a gimmick. But, most of the members of Florida's Board of Education like Scott's challenge.
The Florida Democratic Party called it another scheme concocted by Scott.
A Tampa Bay Times opinion piece
criticizes Scott's proposal. According to the op-ed piece, Scott's challenge isn't going to work. It said that instead of slashing prices, more public investment in colleges and universities is needed. There are things that the op-ed points out things Scott didn't talk about. One was not mentioning that the degrees that usually lead to high-paying jobs are usually the most expensive.
When Scott was talking about businesses being more efficient, the op-ed said that successful businesses don't slash prices while failing to invest in quality. Critics are skeptical if Scott's challenge is going to work at all.
There is the question: Is Scott's challenge legit or is it just a scheme?