Boca Raton Legislators Want a Fee Waiver for Students Living in Recovery Residence

At the end of last week, state Sen. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, and state Rep. Kelly Skidmore, D-Boca Raton, filed bills which authorizes Florida College System institutions, career centers and charter technical career centers to waive out-of-state fees for students living in recovery residences.

The legislation would allow a college or career center to provide in-state tuition but would not make such students Florida residents.

The legislation is designed to increase access to education to adults in recovery residing in Florida with further opportunities to re-enter society and better equip themselves for the road ahead. To be eligible for a fee waiver, students must provide proof of residency in a certified recovery residence and work at least 20 hours per week.

“Anything we can do to help those in recovery attain their educational goals and strive towards a better future is a win-win for them, society, and Florida Colleges,” said Polsky.

“It’s about removing barriers,” said Skidmore. “We have a real opportunity to help those who are living and working in Florida and are serious about recovery and furthering their education to achieve lasting success.”

The legislation was the winning idea from last year’s “There Ought to be a Law” contest. Matan Siskind, one of the students who proposed the idea said, “This fee waiver provides greater access to educational opportunities and will have a considerable impact on the recovery goals of those who take advantage of it.”

Skidmore’s bill was sent the to House Post-Secondary Education and Lifelong Learning Subcommittee, the House Education and Employment Committee and the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee. Polsky’s bill has yet to be assigned.

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