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Don't touch Florida's class size law, teachers union urges

Citing studies and financial analyses, Florida Tax Watch recently called for a relaxation of the state's class size amendment.

The Osceola County Educators Association is calling the watchdog organization's rationale ridiculous.

"Changing the class size amendment requirements for grades 4-12 would drastically harm the quality of education for the students in our schools," union president Apryle Jackson told Around Osceola. "The National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, and numerous universities have conducted studies which provide the opposite data.

"Class size has a direct impact on student learning gains. I can only speak from my own experience. During my first five years teaching in Osceola District Schools, I often had over 35 students in my fourth grade classes. Half of those students were not fluent in English. There was simply not enough time during the day to give individualized instruction to those who needed extra help."

Osceola district officials added their objection to cutting the penalties for violating the amendment, saying the money supports what could otherwise become an unfunded mandate.

Florida voters consistently have rejected efforts to scale back the 2002 mandate.

Read more from Around Osceola.