SHOULD CLASS SIZE LIMITS BE REPEALED?-Andrew Stelzer

03/01/04

CLASS SIZE REDUCTION STORY

A statewide poll of 600 Floridians finds that people want to keep Florida’s class size reduction Amendment in effect. 43 percent of people who responded to the poll support the Amendment, which was passed in 2002. The legal limits for class sizes are 18 children per classroom for the early grades, 22 per class for middle school, and 25 for a high school class. Schools districts are under obligation to make sure all of their classes are of this size by 2010. David Lauer is assistant super independent of Polk County Schools. Polk county did not lower class size to the legal limits last year, Lauer says that the state has not provided enough funding to build increased facilities, especially because the number of kids in Polk county is growing. ------------------

ACT “many schools, we just …like I said are facilities�

Last year, Polk county voters approved a half-cent sales tax, which is helping pay for new school buildings.

Governor Bush has said that the constitutional amendment is an unreasonable and costly demand by voters who didn’t know what they were doing. But Lauer disagrees:

ACT “I think the people knew what they were doing…instruction in that classroom�

------------------------------------------- Senator Burt Saunders from Naples, has begun a petition drive to repeal part of the amendment. His ballot question would preserve small class size for kindergarten through third grade, and get rid of the cap for older children. But the issue will likely not arise this legislative session; and Saunders is trying to get the question on the ballot by 2006.

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