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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Class size revisited



Here we go again.

House Republicans have taken the first step toward yet another attempt to water down the 2002 class size amendment. Just a few minutes ago, the Committee on 21st Century Competitiveness approved a bill (see page 21) that would stop the student count at a school district average, rather than moving to a classroom level. Any savings would go directly to teacher salaries.

"I do hope that even those who don't support it would support the idea of giving the voters a chance to in fact address the issue," chairman and bill sponsor David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, said. "This bill gives the savings to the school-based employees. It ensures that we are not wasting $370-million a year."

Even the committee Democrats agreed to send the proposal to the Schools and Learning Council, which would have to bless the idea before it reaches the House floor. "This recognizes the fact that all of the people involved in education have an effect on young peoples' lives," Rep. Joe Gibbons, D-Pembroke Park, said.

This isn't the first time this idea has surfaced, and it's always been controversial. This year it probably faces more hurdles than in the past, as Gov. Charlie Crist has signaled his intent to fully implement the amendment that voters approved and then, in polls, said they would not repeal.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:15am]


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