Incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford on Monday again plugged one of his top interests, exploring the possibility of a statewide online university to expand access to higher education. Students “are desiring and looking for flexibility in their education,” Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, said Monday on The Morning Show With Preston Scott on WFLA radio in Tallahassee via the News Service of Florida.
“Think about someone who doesn’t have the ability to pack up and move … they could still work and take care of their mom or do whatever it is they have to do,” said Weatherford, who has been floating the idea for more than a year. Many state universities already offer extensive online classes, but Weatherford said they’re expensive, and geared toward whatever programs are most popular, because they can make money for the university. Weatherford said a broader online system that provides an “accessible platform providing education to everyone who wants it,” is what he’s interested in. Weatherford is expected to become speaker in November.