Senate Advances Florida Chamber-Backed Education Bills

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April 25, 2014 Print

CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231


Will Help Make Florida More Competitive

TALLAHASSEE, FL (April 25, 2014) – The Florida Senate took important steps today toward making Florida more competitive when they voted to support a Florida Chamber of Commerce-backed education bill that further prepares our state’s students for jobs of the future.

The Florida Senate passed:

  • SB 850, which strengthens the Career and Professional Education (CAPE) act by allowing students to earn industry certifications while in elementary and middle school. This legislation which is sponsored by Senator John Legg (R-Lutz), expands industry certification offerings, provides professional development for Florida educators regarding digital courses, and creates the collegiate high school program which allows students to earn a full year of college credit while in high school.This legislation will further prepare our students to enter into the workforce and allow Florida to remain globally competitive.

In 2008, only 803 students in Florida high schools who were learning job skills through industry certification. And this past year, 270,000 students were in enrolled in Career and Professional Education academies, 1,650 of them earning over 60,000 industry certifications in everything from avionics to biomedicine to diesel mechanics to welding, IT, to other key issues we really need in our economy,President Don Gaetz said on a recent Florida Chamber Bottom Line news program. “We’re on our way to being the leader in this country in preparing students for real jobs in the real economy. This year we want to lift the limit on the number of career technical courses that students can take while they’re in middle school, high school or college so that, that way, we will be able to prepare more students for jobs that are lashed to the realities of the economy. We think that’s the best way to make sure our students and young people are ready for the competitive jobs that are part of the Florida growing economy.”

Yesterday, the Florida Senate also passed:

  • SB 566, which expands the list of acceptable internships for high school students attempting to earn a Florida Bright Futures scholarship. This bill allows students to register for internships at a qualified business, nonprofit community service organization, and government organization. This bill encourages students to explore career options while completing the mandatory service hour requirements.

The Florida Chamber will continue to advocate for a quality education and workforce development system. We believe that a strong sustainable education system is integral to Florida’s long-term economic development strategy. Earlier this week Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart highlighted Florida’s education success during an interview on The Bottom Line.

“Florida is a leader in the area of education, and sometimes we forget that,” said Education Commissioner Pam Stewart. “Having moved in 2013 from eleventh in the nation to sixth in the nation in student achievement speaks volumes about the hard work that’s happening in Florida. To be second in the nation in AP participation is amazing work. Leading the nation in our Hispanic graduation rate is another thing I’m very proud of.”



Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations, aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit for more information.

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