Pasco County schools fall short on class size goal
Pasco County schools superintendent Heather Fiorentino warned from the outset that she couldn't guarantee full compliance with Florida's 2002 class size amendment because of the large funding cuts the district endured.
As the state entered its final day of counting Friday, it appeared clear that the district would not meet the mandate, unlike a year ago. According to the latest reports, the district missed class size standards by 968 students out of a total enrollment of 66,788. Broken down, the statistics look like this:
18.7 percent of elementary school classes were out of compliance, with 442 students in pre-k through third grade (where the cap is 18 students) and 86 in fourth or fifth grades (where the cap is 22 students).
16 percent of middle school classrooms were out of compliance, or 286 students. (The cap is 22 students.)
13.2 percent of high school classrooms were out of compliance, or 172 students. (The cap is 25 students.)
The numbers still require some refinement before becoming official, but they give a strong indication of the current situation. District spokeswoman Summer Romagnoli said the administration is aware that financial penalties might arise as a result. "We're doing the best we can within the confines of the budget that we have," Romagnoli told the Gradebook.
Look for more details in our story Sunday on education.tampabay.com.