Osceola County commissioners set aside $12 million in federal COVID-19 funding to pay the tuitions.
After two years of a pandemic that battered the workforce of this tourism-dependent county in central Florida, leaders had a gift for departing high school graduates this month: free tuition at either the local community college or the county technical school.
Osceola County commissioners announced earlier this year that they would set aside $12 million in federal COVID-19 funding to pay the tuition of any 2022 high school graduate who wanted to go to Valencia College or the county technical school.
“I didn’t have anybody to pay for my college,” Madilyn Hilder, an Osceola High senior who lives with her grandmother, told the Orlando Sentinel. “Money was always the thing that was going to keep me from going to college.”
Because of the program, Osceola Prosper, Hilder said she will now start her studies in elementary education at Valencia College in August, with plans to later transfer to the University of Central Florida.
The goal of Osceola Prosper is to boost education levels past high school and raise the prospects for better-paying jobs for Osceola residents, said Brandon Arrington, chairman of the county commission.
“I think a lot of people think, ‘If I go to college, I’m going to have $100,000 worth of debt,’” Arrington said.
Osceola County is home to large numbers of tourism workers for Orlando area hotels, restaurants and theme parks. During the early months of pandemic-related business closures, the county had the highest unemployment rate in Florida, reaching 14.4% in 2020.
The county previously had offered $500 scholarships to encourage students to study at Valencia College. The new program will cover the $3,000 a year costs of studying full time at the community college.
Because the available funds are limited, the program is only for 2022 graduates.
Guidance counselors at Osceola County’s high schools said they have been having more conversations with students about continuing their education.
Those conversations usually start with, “Now you have this option, what are your thoughts?” said Kendyl Bass, the college and career specialist at Osceola High. “It has changed a lot of people’s minds.”
Republished with permission from The Associated Press.
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Biden Press Sec Reveals She’s ‘A Black, Gay, Immigrant Woman’ To People Who Already Knew
New White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced during a press briefing on Monday that she is a “black, gay, immigrant woman, the first of all three of those to hold this position.”
Karine-Pierre’s background was reported on extensively prior to her official succession to the position. Most Americans, and entire audience of reporters in the briefing room, were already aware of her racial and sexual status.
“I just want to say a few words about how honored I am to be here with you today, uh, in this role, in this room, standing behind this podium, ” Jean-Pierre said.
The new press secretary then revealed that she was “obviously acute aware” of her racial and sexual status “representing a few firsts.”
“I am a black, gay, immigrant woman, the first of all three of those to hold this position,” Jean-Pierre then announced to the already-informed audience.
New WH Press Sec. Karine Jean-Pierre: “I am a black, gay, immigrant woman, the first of all three of those to hold this position.” pic.twitter.com/WfLrRuo3sb
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) May 16, 2022
“Representation does matter. You hear us, you hear us say this, uh, often in this administration,” Jean-Pierre continued. “And no one understands this better than President Biden. Which is why his administration is not only the most diverse in history, it is filled with barrier-breaking women and men from the Vice President to his cabinet secretaries, to the Supreme Court nominee, to senior staff throughout this administration.”
Fox News host Tucker Carlson stated last week that Jean-Pierre is “perfect for the job” because “She’s in the right group” and to the Biden administration,”the group is all that matters.”
“Karine Jean-Pierre is our first out LGBTQ+ White House Press Secretary and that’s all you need to know,” Carlson said. “It’s a good thing, shut up and celebrate.”
“That’s why she got the job,” Carlson continued. “She’s in the right group and so the Biden administration, which thinks exclusively in terms of groups and never in terms of individuals because individuals are messy and inconvenient, the group is all that matters.”
“This is exactly how they pick Supreme Court justices or vice presidents or members of the Federal Reserve Board,” the popular cable news host noted. “And now, the all-important press secretary gig has gone to someone on the basis of group. It’s really simple, show us your picture and we’ll tell you if you’re qualified for the job. And in many ways, Karine Jean-Pierre is perfect for the job.”
POLL: Two Thirds of Americans Want Voters and Legislators to Decide Abortion Policy
Around two thirds of all Americans want abortion policy to decided by the voters and their representatives, a new poll has revealed.
The poll of 1,200 registered voters conducted by Rasmussen and RMG Research released was released last week, and asked whether policies on abortion should be decided by judges and courts, or voters and their elected representatives. 65% of the respondents declared that it should be decided democratically and implemented via legislation.
Only 18% of respondents, just under a fifth of Americans, believed that it should be left to judges and courts to decide. The poll was conducted between May 5 and 7, only a few days after the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, when protests outside the homes of high court judges captured national headlines.
With an overturning of the Roe decision sending abortion policy back to the states, the poll would suggest that a clear majority of voters would back the Supreme Court in doing so.
75% of respondents said that they were closely following the news on the case, a net 52% increase since January.
“The consensus for overturning Roe, and returning this issue to the democratic process, is overwhelming,” former White House advisor Stephen Miller told the Daily Caller.
“By a nearly 4:1 margin Americans think voters and not judges should establish abortion rules in the United States.”
Despite the fact that former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and liberal media outlets have claimed that 60% of Americans are in favour of leaving Roe as is, the new poll of voters suggests very different results.
In fact, 63% of voters in the poll said that they would be against any proposal that would legalise abortion up to both, with 45% of those strongly opposing such a policy, compared to only 14% who would be strongly in favour.
55% of Americans said that they would be less likely to vote for a candidate that supported abortion being legal at any point during the pregnancy, with 33% saying otherwise.
“Broadly speaking, most voters support restrictions on abortion after the first trimester,” said Rachel Bovard, the senior director of policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute.
“Democrats are at sea on this issue and are left grasping at straws with outright fear mongering about what will happen if Roe is overturned, and forcing radical abortion policy on voters.”
Pennsylvania Dem Senate Candidate Has Stroke, Will Be Hospitalized Through Election Day
Pennsylvania Democrat Lt. Governor John Fetterman, who is now the favorite to win the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in that state, has been hospitalized following a stroke on Friday that stemmed from a blood clot in his heart.
Due to his hospitalization, he is unable to be delivering remarks on Tuesday night after the election in Pennsylvania. His wife Gisele will be speaking in his place instead. Fetterman is the Democratic front runner for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, and faces possible Republican challengers including Trump-endorsed Mehmet Oz and Kathy Barnette, who is surging in the days before the election.
My full statement here. 👇 pic.twitter.com/1rRXDMBiu0
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) May 15, 2022
“On Friday, I wasn’t feeling well, so I went to the hospital to get checked out. I didn’t want to go – I didn’t think I had to – but Gisele insisted, and as usual, she was right,” Fetterman wrote in a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday.
“I hadn’t been feeling well, but was so focused on the campaign that I ignored the signs and just kept going. On Friday it finally caught up with me. I had a stroke that was caused by a clot from my heart being in an A-fib rhythm for too long,” he said.
“Fortunately, Gisele spotted the symptoms and got me to the hospital within minutes. The Amazing doctors here were able to quickly and completely remove the clot, reversing my stroke, they got my heart under control as well. It’s a good reminder to listen to your body and be aware of the signs,” Fetterman said.
Fetterman has since said that he is “feeling much better” and is “on the way to a full recovery.”
The Pennsylvania Democrat is “fully vaccinated + boosted” for COVID-19, as is his “entire family” because he believes the vaccinations are “safe, and still the key to getting us out of this new phase of the pandemic.”
My entire family is vaccinated + boosted.
Vaccines + effective treatments are safe, and still the key to getting us out of this new phase of the pandemic.
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) April 22, 2022
Pundits claim Fetterman’s health will likely not impact his electoral chances, and note that Fetterman will have ample time to recover between now and the November midterm election.
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