Showing posts with label Alexander. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alexander. Show all posts

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Alexander says signing of SB 1712 “a huge step” for FAMU

Earlier this week, state Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee, expressed his happiness in response to news that Gov. Rick Scott had signed his bill on “Postsecondary Revenue Bonds and Debt” into law.

“I appreciate Gov. Scott’s signing of SB 1712,” Alexander said in a quote in the Tallahassee Democrat. “Allowing Florida A&M University access to participate in the Historically Black College and University Capital Funding Program for future capital outlay projects is a huge step for the university in achieving infrastructure development goals and the highest educational success. This bill allows the university to take necessary steps to help ensure that.”

Alexander and Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, filed identical versions of the bill in their respective chambers. The House substituted the Senate version, SB 1712, for its version, CS/HB 375, on March 5th. The bill was later enrolled and presented to governor on that same day.

FAMU President Larry Robinson and the Board of Trustees want to seek a HBCU Capital Financing Program loan to finance a planned 700-bed, on-campus student housing facility.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Alexander, Montford bill aims to make FAMU eligible for HBCU Capital Financing Program

A bill on “Postsecondary Revenue Bonds and Debt” by Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee, and Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee recently passed both chambers of the Florida Legislature and is now on Gov. Rick Scott’s desk.

If the governor signs it, Florida A&M University will become eligible for the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Capital Financing Program.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the program "has provided more than $2-billion to 45 HBCUs to finance or refinance capital projects." It offers the financial support for such projects through loans.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Rodrigues, Alexander tell BOG to fix PBF system to ensure an “equitable distribution” of money

Last week, the News Service of Florida reported that the Florida House of Representatives has “backed off a plan that called for the university system’s Board of Governors to create a performance-funding system based on individual school performance, rather than ranking the schools against each other, with the bottom three losing out on state performance money.”

But the House is still telling the BOG to get moving on working out a plan to make the performance-based funding (PBF) system fair. House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, has sponsored Amendment 843425 to the committee substitute for Senate Bill 4. It says that “by October 1, 2019, the Board of Governors, in consultation with the state universities, shall submit to the Legislature recommendations for future consideration on the most efficient process to achieve a complete performance-based continuous improvement model focused on outcomes that provides for the equitable distribution of performance funds.”

The News Service of Florida reported that this change would provide money for “‘continuous improvement’ by the schools regardless of how they are ranked against each other.”

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Overhaul of performance-based funding proposed by Alexander, House leaders gaining support

Rep. Ramon Alexander, Rep. Ray Wesley Rodrigues, Rep. Larry Ahern, and Rep. Mel Ponder
State Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee, has gained some important allies in his effort to overhaul the performance-based funding (PBF) system for public universities. House Majority Leader Ray Wesley Rodrigues, R-Estero, Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, and Rep. Mel Ponder, R-Destin, have all given their backing to a set of changes that Alexander says will make the PBF metrics fairer.

The revisions are now part of HB 423, which Rodrigues is sponsoring. The bill received a favorable vote from the Post-Secondary Subcommittee on January 17th with a committee substitution. Last week, the bill also received a favorable vote from the Higher Education Subcommittee on February 6th. Ahern is the subcommittee chair, Ponder is the vice-chair, and Alexander is a member.

“Each university will compete against its own past performance” instead of against other SUS schools

Back in December, Alexander discussed PBF during a Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Facebook Live. He said that it isn’t right to compare State University System of Florida (SUS) schools with different sizes and missions against each other for PBF.

“When you look at the University of Florida, 90 percent of their students are on Bright Futures. At FAMU, 87 percent of our students are on need-based aid,” Alexander said.

He added: “To compare the University of North Florida to the University of Florida, you have more of a regional institution, than a university that has depth in research, is not fair.”

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Alexander working to build bipartisan coalition to overhaul performance-based funding system

L-R: Rep. Ray Wesley Rodrigues, Rep. Larry Ahern, and Rep. Mel Ponder
State Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee, is working across party lines in his effort to overhaul the performance-based funding (PBF) system used by the Florida Board of Governors (BOG).

“We’re getting bipartisan support in the legislature to address this issue,” he said during a Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Facebook Live in December.

Alexander says that the BOG changes the performance metrics each year in ways that benefit many of the biggest universities and deny any new PBF funding to the “Bottom 3” no matter how much they improve. 

“This ‘Bottom 3’ concept within the Board of Governors is a flawed system,” he said. “It is a tiered system, And it is not in the best interests of all of our state universities.”

Alexander said that this is bad for Florida A&M University, Florida Gulf Coast University, New College of Florida, the University of North Florida, and the University of West Florida.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Alexander says BOG’s performance funding system unfair to FAMU, FGCU, NCF, UNF, UWF

On December 12, 2017, state Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee, held a Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Facebook Live. He used to event to explain why he’s building support to change the system that provides performance-based funding (PBF) to the State University System schools in Florida.

“It’s not fair,” Alexander said. “And just like the criminal justice system is designed for our future to fail, the way our current State University System funding model is set up, it is designed for institutions like Florida A&M University to fail.”

Alexander is a former FAMU student body president and currently represents both FAMU and Florida State University in the legislature.

FAMU has only received new PBF money two times in the four years of the program. It received $11,509,132 for 2016-2017 based mainly on metrics from the previous year. FAMU maintained the same overall score on the metrics the next year, but received $0 in new PBF.

“Last year FAMU received a 65,” Alexander said. “We received a 65 again and we got penalized. Every time FAMU goes up, they change the game in the middle of the game. We have to push the reset button. And we have to figure out how to function. The system is designed for Florida A&M University to fail.”

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Legislature approves $450K for Florida African-American Heritage Preservation Network

The General Appropriations Act (SB 2500) passed by the Florida Legislature includes $450,000 in nonrecurring funds for the Florida African-American Heritage Preservation Network (FAAHPN).

Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumna Althemese Barnes, executive director of the John G. Riley Museum, submitted the funding request to state Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee, in January. Alexander then filed a bill to seek the money (HB 2379). The final appropriations bill included the full amount Barnes sought for 2017-2018.

Back in 2016-2017, the FAAHPN received $400,000 in nonrecurring funds.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Appropriations bill includes $1M to expand online course offerings at FAMU

(L-R) FAMU VP for Research Timothy Moore, Rep. Ramon Alexander, Interim President Larry Robinson
The new Florida General Appropriations Act (SB 2500) includes $1,000,000 to help Florida A&M University expand its online course offerings.

Interim President Larry Robinson submitted the funding request to state Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee, in January. Alexander then filed a bill to seek the money (HB 2137).

Robinson and Alexander both wanted $5M in nonrecurring dollars for the project. But that amount was reduced to $1M during the budget negotiations.

“The investment will enable FAMU to increase online offerings in areas of strategic emphasis including [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)], offer additional high quality undergraduate online degree programs and increase graduation rates,” Robinson wrote in the written request.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Alexander says changes to grad rate measure in performance funding are unfair to FAMU

Yesterday, State Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee, cast a “no” vote against a bill that would change the preferred performance funding measure for public university graduation rates from six years to four years.

According to the News Service of Florida, “The Senate wants to measure university undergraduate programs on a four-year graduation basis. The House also would use a four-year measure, but would add a six-year measure with weighting for four-year graduations.”

Alexander opposed the bill (HB 3), which passed with an 11-3 vote during a meeting of the House Post-Secondary Education Subcommittee. He said: “this proposal in many respects will have a negative impact on Florida A&M University.”

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Lawson, Alexander cruise to big victories in Florida general election

Florida A&M University alumni Alfred “Al” Lawson and Ramon Alexander, both Democrats, are two of the big winners in 2016 Florida general election.

Lawson defeated Republican nominee Glo Smith in the Fifth Congressional District of Florida. With 247 of 266 precincts reporting, Lawson had 190,610 votes (64.1 percent) to Smith’s 106,628 votes (35.9 percent).

Alexander won the District 8 seat in the Florida House of Representatives that Lawson formerly held from 1992 through 2000. He did not face a Republican contender but did have write-in opposition.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Alexander wins Democratic primary for Florida House District 8

Former Florida A&M University Student Body President Ramon Alexander beat three opponents to win the Democratic nomination for the Florida House of Representatives District 8. He finished with 39 percent of the votes.

Alexander is the national executive director of Distinguished Young Gentlemen of America, Inc. lead all the Democratic candidates in fundraising with a total of $210,723 as of August 25.

He graduated from the FAMU Development Research School and then earned a degree in political science and public administration from FAMU, serving as student body president during the 2005-2006 school year. Alexander formerly worked as the community & external affairs aide in the Tallahassee Mayor’s Office and a legislative intern in the Florida House of Representatives District 8 office for two years.