The Florida board of education today elected board member and Duval County public school advocate Gary Chartrand to take over as Chairman.

Current Chair Kathleen Shanahan of Tampa is stepping down in order to devote more time to her new business.

Chartrand says he’s honored to take over as her replacement.

Chartrand is the head of a large sales and marketing company…as well as the chairman of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, or J-PEF.

He was appointed to the Florida Board of Education in May 2011 by Governor Rick Scott.

College Debt Scares Students Away

Sep 6, 2012

Broward Community College has seen a 40% drop in students taking out federally subsidized loans.

This summer the youth advocacy group Generation Opportunity surveyed 18-29 year olds in Florida about loans and college.

About 65% said its more important to have a full time job at graduation than to have low student loan interest rates.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says too many children are stuck in low-performing schools.

Bush says the country must make sure that all students have an equal shot at a good school.

Bush pulled out a familiar analogy: Buying milk at the store.

There's more than one flavor and type of milk he says. Likewise, parents should be able to choose which type of school works best.

Across Florida, college freshmen are signing up for classes. Many are taking advantage of the Bright Futures scholarship to help pay their way.

And many are experiencing sticker shock when they see what the scholarships DON’T cover. 

Students earn Bright Futures Scholarships based on their grades, test scores, and community service -- and NOT their financial need.

More than a third of Florida’s high school graduates qualified for the scholarship last year.

Forrest Estep was one of them. He's a student at Florida State.

There are more than 140,000 DREAM Act students in the state of Florida that can apply for deferred action.

And close to 50 thousand in Miami-Dade county.

Jose Luis Marantes is co-founder of Students Working For Equal Rights -- or SWER

He says it is risky for undocumented students to share their information with the federal government.

"But I will tell you one thing. When rights are given to someone. Imagine the amount of power and energy that's taken to win those rights. Watch out what happens if when you try to take those rights away.There's no stopping us."