After new law charging tuition, enrollment in adult ed courses dramatically drops

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A new law that charged tuition for more students who take adult education courses has resulted in a dramatic drop in enrollment, reports the News Service of Florida. Colleges have reported a 45 percent drop in enrollment, and several school districts say they have seen enrollment drop by 38 percent. Lawmakers said they wanted to require in-state adult education students to pay $45 for half a year, or $30 per term in block tuition to require students “to put some skin in the game.” Non-resident students pay three times that amount and documentation must be provided to determine residency, which for a dependent is tied to the parent’s residency status. But several lawmakers expressed concern that the law is harming inmates in state, county or juvenile facilities that are taking classes to get their GED, for instance. Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach, said she had received calls from adult education teachers who reported their classes were cut because inmates could not afford to pay for them or could not prove residency. “I think they need that education, but they should also see the value of it and that it is worth something,” said Lynn during the Budget Subcommittee on Higher Education Appropriations on Tuesday.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.