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    Bush says he'll sign education overhaul

    The state Board of Regents would be abolished under the bill.

    By Times staff writer

    © St. Petersburg Times, published May 8, 2001


    Gov. Jeb Bush said Monday that he will sign legislation that overhauls Florida's higher education system.

    The bill abolishes the state Board of Regents and spins off New College as a new, separate university.

    It also grants more autonomy to the St. Petersburg and Manatee-Sarasota branch campuses of the University of South Florida, and allows St. Petersburg Junior College to become the first community college in Florida to offer four-year degrees in teaching and other high-demand fields.

    Another provision in the bill opens the door for all community colleges to offer four-year degrees in specific fields, with permission from the state's Board of Education.

    Bush urged caution on that provision. The idea may work in the Tampa Bay area, he said, but "It may be that in another community, it makes no sense at all."

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