Gov. Rick Scott's call for state colleges to offer a cheaper four-year degree follows years of steep budget cuts to Florida's higher education system, leading one top state education official to say the goal cannot be achieved without sacrificing education quality.
"At a time when students are realizing that the only way to become part of the middle class is by getting a college education, the state of Florida has continued to disinvest in higher education in the last few years," Roberto Martinez, vice chairman of the state Board of Education, in a letter to Scott.
"Asking the colleges at this time to issue a ‘$10,000 bachelor's degree' without commensurately increasing state funding is, I am certain, well-intentioned, but a very bad idea."
Scott announced the idea for the $10,000 bachelor's degree at St. Petersburg College on Monday, saying students should be able to "go to school and not end up with debt."