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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Class size tweak looks headed for defeat



Florida voters tonight appear to be rejecting an attempt to put some flexibility into the class-size amendment they narrowly passed eight years ago.

With about 2.6 million votes counted, 56 percent of voters had voted yes on Amendment 8, which the Legislature put on the ballot. The measure needs 60 percent approval to pass.

“Amendment 8 is going down, baby,” state Sen. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, a leading opponent, told The Gradebook. “The Legislature has tried time and time again to tell the people they’re wrong (about the original class-size amendment) and they weren’t.”

State Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, an Amendment 8 supporter, said the teacher’s union mantra – that smaller class sizes are a leading factor in a student’s success – isn’t backed by the evidence. “But if you make an argument over and over and over again, and it’s a simple argument … then you can persuade people,” he said.

Update at 9:08 p.m.: In Pinellas, with all 376 precincts reporting, 57 percent (158,776) voted in favor of Amendment 8, while 43 percent (121,311) voted no.

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 9:09pm]


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