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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Class size in Pasco schools: Where it's a problem, and where it isn't



Pasco County schools face a $4 million fine for failing to meet the state's class size requirements this year. If officials hope to reduce the penalty, they must submit a plan to the Florida Department of Education by Wednesday, and then meet the mark come October.

"We are going to meet class size next year," School Board chairwoman Joanne Hurley said.

Getting there means knowing the full scope of the problem. District leaders acknowledged, for instance, that they can't predict for a certainty how many students will enroll next year. They do understand, though, that middle and high schools, with their more varied schedules including the ability to take online classes, will prove more difficult to resolve than elementary schools.

That said, the district did examine which schools were most out of compliance with the mandate, and which fell in line with the expectations.

The schools with all classes in compliance were: Veterans Elementary, San Antonio Elementary, Anclote Elementary, Quail Hollow Elementary, Bayonet Point Middle, and Mitchell High. Coming very close were Trinity Elementary (one classroom period over), Pasco Elementary (four over), Giella Elementary (four over), Schrader Elementary (four over), Smith Middle (seven over), and Gulf High (five over).

At the other end of the spectrum were: Oakstead Elementary (71 classroom periods over), Woodland Elementary (50 over), Longleaf Elementary (49 over), Hudson Elementary (49 over), and Sand Pine Elementary (48 over); Rushe Middle (62 over), River Ridge Middle (61 over), Long Middle (58 over), and Pasco Middle (57 over); Ridgewood High (57 over), Zephyrhills High (53 over), and Hudson High (36 over).

School Board members have been told to expect to pay about $7 million next year to hire more teachers to meet the class size amendment.

[Last modified: Monday, February 13, 2012 9:47am]


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