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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Another effort to scale back Florida's school class-size mandates



While some Florida lawmakers focus on making it easier for schools to meet the state's 2002 class-size rules, others are looking to make it less expensive to not meet the mandate.

Sen. Mike Bennett, the Bradenton Republican who last year proposed a referendum to kill the amendment outright, this year has filed a bill to limit any penalties for failure to comply to $1,000.

Other senators, including last year's Education Committee chairwoman Nancy Detert, have expressed an interest in making the fines less onerous, noting that districts need to use the money for education. If they have tried their best to follow the rules, she and others have said, they should not be heavily punished.

Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, has legislation to eliminate the penalties altogether. Rep. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami, has filed an identical version in the House.

Although school district leaders and even teachers union officials have agreed with the idea that the penalties could be reduced, most say some teeth must remain in order to avoid a complete abdication of the rule. Your thoughts?


[Last modified: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 12:23pm]


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