Legislators in Florida are trying to pass Amendment 8 which would severely limit the effectiveness of the class size amendment law passed by voters in 2002. One of the things that this amendment would allow is school-wide averaging to determine class size compliance instead of assuring that each class is in compliance and has the appropriate number of students.
Using school-wide averaging sounds good, but it has been calculated in the past using deceptive, unfair formulas. As an example, in an elementary school in Volusia County during the 2008-2009 school year, kindergarten classes had as many as 27 students per class. You would think that with a class size limit of 18, even before complete class size implementation, they would have had to create a new class to reduce the enrollment in those overcrowded classes. However, because of creative and deceptive averaging, these classes continued to have high numbers and the school did not qualify for a new classroom unit. If we allow this amendment to pass, the same inexcusably high class sizes will be in place in some of our schools at some of our grade levels. Averages may appear ok, but students WILL suffer. What if it is your child that is in a large class and doesn’t get the individualized attention that he or she needs and deserves. Your child will not be exempt from suffering just because most of the classes come close to having the required number of students based on the average.
This amendment is all about money and if it passes, it will be at the expense of our precious children. The almighty dollar is not as important as our children and their future. The state of Florida has consistently failed in its responsibility as described in Article IX of the state constitution to provide funding for “a high quality education“. Attempting to pass Amendment 8 is just another attempt on their part to shirk this responsibility to Florida students and their families.