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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

A handful of parents send class size gripes to Florida Department of Education



As Florida's school districts moved to implement the final phase of the state's class size rules, the Florida Department of Education provided a dedicated e-mail address for people to ask questions, seek information and offer insights.

The Gradebook requested the responses through the state's open records law. We got back 11 comments, which deputy spokesman Ben Wolf said were all the e-mails "that have some form of complaint in them." Here's a sampling of what folks had to say:

"We have received numerous letters in our children's folders a few weeks ago in regards to the "Class Size Reduction Amendment" and that changes were going to be made to some children's classrooms to meet this requirement. What I would like to know is if voters approved State Constitutional Amendment Article IX Section I setting limits to our classroom sizes in 2002 and our school board and principals knew it was mandatory to be in effect by the 2010 school year why were the schools not better prepared? It is very simple to me that if the maximum is 18 children per classroom, do not add another child and you will not have disruptions. I understand that children move throughout the year, they come and go. But there should be procedures in place for how you choose the children that get moved into another classroom as well." -- a Pasco County parent

"With my son (STUDENT NAME), who is in 1st grade, he needed help with speech and was having trouble in a class of 30 children at the private school.  I therefore decided to move him over to Indian Trace.  I am very upset that because we were last to register, that my son is being put in a class with kindergartners, a new teacher fresh out of College who now has to be able to teach two different curriculums.
 Does the school have the right to do this?  Why should my child be different than all other 1st graders?  Why can't they just lower the class size in all 1st grade classrooms and make room for another 1st grade class?"
-- a Broward County parent

"Due to  the "Class Size Amendment" requirements, my daughters Enrichment classes are now  limited to Personal Fitness and Media Classes. Are you Freaking Kidding me? My child can't take art and music because the government has set a limit on the amount of kids in each classroom ( 18 for her third grade class), but did not have a plan in place for where the extra students were going to go?  Brilliant planning." -- a Lake County parent

Do these sound like your experiences with the class size implementation? We'd like to hear more about how you see the rules being put into play in your schools.

[Last modified: Friday, October 22, 2010 10:21am]


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