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Gov. DeSantis expands eligibility for Bright Futures scholarships

Leslie Ovalle

Florida high school students applying for the state’s college and vocational school scholarship program will be able to substitute paid work experience for volunteering under a bill signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday.

DeSantis also signed a bill requiring background checks on apartment building employees, legislation that was named for a 19-year-old college student who was killed by a maintenance worker.

Students who apply for the Bright Futures program starting in the next school year will be able to fulfill the volunteer requirement by working 100 hours. During a bill signing ceremony at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, DeSantis said the change will help low-income families whose teenagers need to work.

The scholarships are awarded to students who attain high grade=point averages and test scores. They receive various amounts based on what level they achieve.

In the 2020-21 school year, the state distributed about $650 million to about 120,000 students — an average of $5,400 each.

In addition to employee background checks, the other new Florida law will require apartments to maintain a log for each unit’s keys and increasing notification for maintenance and repairs from 12 to 24 hours. The bill was named after Miya Marcano, who was killed in Orange County.

The only suspect in the case used a fob to enter her apartment and later took his own life.

Associated Press
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