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The Buckman Bill

**

Florida's attempts to make higher education accessible to as many state residents as possible eventually created an unmanageable situation. During the 1904 legislative session, the eight state-supported schools nearly tripled their budget requests for the impending two-year funding period. The Florida House of Representatives immediately initiated an investigation. The schools quickly revised their proposals and submitted lower figures, but unfortunately it was too late. H.H. Buckman, a Duval County Representative, proposed an education reorganization act. Buckman believed the state of Florida needed a designated state university, a separate college for women, and a state normal school. The Buckman Bill, passed by the Legislature during that session, eliminated all existing state-supported educational institutions and created four new ones: the University of Florida, Florida Female College, the Industrial College for Negroes, and the Institute for the Blind, Deaf, and Dumb. The bill also created a supervisory Board of Control to work with the State Board of Education to determine locations for and elect presidents of the new institutions. As a result of this action, the co-educational Florida State College became the Florida Female College.

Sources:

  • Sellers, Robin Jeanne, Ph.D. Femina Perfecta, Tallahassee: The Florida State University Foundation, 1995.
  • Wills, Martee & Morris, Joan Perry. The Seminole History: A Pictorial History of the Florida State University, Jacksonville: South Star Publishing Company, 1987.

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