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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Class-size changes not dead yet

21

April

There has been much talk that efforts in the Florida Legislature to ask voters to scale back the 2002 class-size amendment never will make it to the ballot.

The Senate — where all similar such attempts have gone to die — consistently has sounded like the naysayer again. Senate President Jeff Atwater said it won't move. Senate Ed Appropriations chairman Steve Wise pressed to tie the vote to an increased sales tax for education.

With a super-majority needed to put the issue before voters, the bill's fate didn't look good.

Then a funny thing happened. Democrats started signaling their support.

ICYMI, the Senate Education Pre-K-12 Appropriations Committee unanimously voted Monday to send SJR 1828 to its next destination. That includes Democrats Gary Siplin of Orlando and Larcenia Bullard of Miami. So long as the voters get to decide, they suggested, there's no harm in asking.

In fact, the only no vote on the resolution so far comes from Miami Democrat Frederica Wilson, who helped champion the amendment seven years ago.

You might argue the issue shouldn't go to the voters, because they've already said they want smaller classes. You might argue the matter must get to the ballot because Florida simply can't afford it on such a large scale, one that some research suggests is not necessary.

But will it get there? Your predictions, please. The bill already has passed the House. Stay tuned.

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[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:21am]

    

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