Meek urges lawmakers to leave class size alone
U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, father of the 2002 class size amendment, has this to say about leading Republicans' planned attempt to change (he says "undermine") the amendment that requires smaller classes:
“In 2002, a broad coalition of Florida parents, teachers and students spoke loud and clear and asked their elected leaders to place the interests of our children first. Eight years later, Tallahassee officials have not relented in trying to water down hard-fought class size limits while refusing to tackle the special interest bidding that is alive and well in the state capital.
“Florida families cannot be shortchanged. They simply ask that their children not be packed into overcrowded classrooms. Instead of focusing on misguided priorities, Florida needs a long-term perspective to secure a better future for our children. Implementing the class size limits without delay is critical so our teachers can teach in classrooms where our students can learn. Moreover, it is important to note that our state needs to invest now in its human capital in order to reverse the tide of joblessness for tomorrow’s workers. Class size is among the necessary tools to give our children a fighting chance to be everything they can be. We’ve seen consistent improvement in test scores over the implementation period of the class size reduction program, and it will only get better when leaders decide that education in general, to include quality teaching and class size reduction, is the priority in Florida. Furthermore, paying our teachers the salaries they deserve is key to increasing the number of top-notch educators in our schools. ...I urge Governor Crist to reconsider his stance and not shortchange education and Florida families.”