Bills moving through both houses of the Florida legislature would create a scholarship fund for students attending any of the state’s four historically Black colleges and universities: Bethune Cookman University, Edward Waters College. Florida A&M University, and Florida Memorial University.
Under the proposed legislation, the legislature would appropriate $2 million to be deposited into the Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund, administered by the Florida Department of Education. The bills also call for the four HBCUs each to contribute $500,000 to the fund by June 30, 2021.
The total of $4 million would be part of a trust fund. Investment proceeds from the fund would be allocated to scholarships for students at the HBCUs.
The bill in the Florida Senate was sponsored by Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville, who is the Democratic leader in that chamber. Senator Gibson earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology at Florida State University. The House bill was authored by Delores Hogan Johnson of Fort Pierce. She is a graduate of Fisk University in Nashville and holds a master’s degree from the University of Central Florida.