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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Santa Rosa parents worry about arts education if class size takes hold



As some in Florida's Republican leadership begin the push to "right size" the 2002 class size amendment, a group of Santa Rosa parents is growing worried about what might happen in the period before voters would even have a chance to decide the issue.

The Santa Rosa School Board has told the community that arts education is on the chopping block if the district is to meet the class-by-class count that the amendment mandates.

Disturbed parents have launched a campaign, complete with web site, aimed at stopping this move in its tracks. They've raised some good questions, not the least of which among them is whether the proposed amendment moving through the Legislature would hold a vote too late to stave off the cuts that Santa Rosa (and most likely other districts) are contemplating.

Some of the other questions they raise are:

  • Isn't it legal to merely pay the fines for students over the hard per-class cap in 2010-11?
  • Are there any other strategies on the table [besides the too-late Gaetz/Weatherford amendment] for August 2010 that will help us avoid the catastrophic possibilities that the hard per-class cap will create? If so, what are they? If not, why not?
  • Merely moving music and art teachers into classrooms will not totally fix the problem of complying with the per-class hard cap implementation of the law. If this strategy will be employed (cutting music and art curricula), what comes next to fulfill the class size reduction that is called for by law?

The Senate Pre-K-12 committee is scheduled to discuss the class size amendment this afternoon. (Watch here at 4 p.m.) Maybe they members will talk about these and related matters. Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:50am]


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