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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Class size changes continue to move through Florida Legislature



The drum beat to lessen the impact of Florida's class size rules continued this week, with members of a key Senate committee unanimously supporting legislation to redefine affected core courses and allow schools to exceed the caps if new students enroll after October.

That bill, sponsored by Sen. David Simmons, next heads to the Senate floor.

The House has adopted a similar measure, already approved by the full Senate, along more partisan lines. That bill still has a few discrepancies in it and is headed to conference committee.

Either way, it appears that the years-long effort by Republicans and school district officials, who regularly have asked for an easier way to deal with the "19th child" who shows up to a filled classroom, is about to come to fruition despite lawmakers' inability to convince 60 percent of voters to ease the rules.

Certainly, it can be noted that more people actually voted for the 2010 amendment to the amendment than the number that backed the original 2002 ballot initiative. But the Republicans did set the amendment bar higher themselves, and have just continued to find ways around it. Lawyers for the Florida Education Association have talked lawsuit if and when any new law comes into play.

Now we just watch and wait.

[Last modified: Friday, April 15, 2011 11:34am]


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