Pinellas County Rep. Traci Koster is seeking $306,176 for a program that provides high school students the opportunity to participate in a government education program for college credit.
The appropriations request is for the University of South Florida St. Petersburg Citizen Scholar Partnership program, which provides YMCA Youth in Government students the opportunity to be designated USFSP Citizen Scholars by participating in academic activities and receiving instruction from the university’s faculty.
The students who complete the program receive six undergraduate credit hours.
Last year, the state approved $300,000 for the program.
The funding, requested from the Florida Department of Education, would be divided among the program director’s salary ($51,376), the lead instructor and program assistant salaries ($32,140) and travel for instructional staff, tuition support and the summer civics institute ($222,660).
The program is funded by state appropriations, according to the request. Over the next five years, the project is estimated to request about $1 million to $3 million from the state.
The report states that the YMCAs of Florida are supportive and assist in the delivery of the program, as well as recruit students to participate. Lawmakers often speak at the Summer Civics Institute and some sent letters of encouragement to the students.
About 100 to 200 students participate in the program, according to the request.