Class Size Count Begins

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL - There were three empty seats in Sylvia Crews’ 3rd period math class Monday morning. Since the final phase of class size took hold this August, it’s been easier to keep track of attendance. The strict rule of no more than 25 students per high school classroom means there’s no need for more than 25 chairs.

“It makes it a lot easier that there are only 25 people in the room. You can get a lot of business taken care of very quickly. We are able to get more independent and individual help,” said Crews.

This week Florida’s 67 school districts will take final counts in every Florida classroom and turn the information over to the Department of Education. DOE will then use the data to see which schools are in violation of the class size amendment.

But with the state’s overall education budget down 350 million dollars, some schools are cutting corners to fall under the class size cap. In Washington County teachers are being asked to skip their planning periods. In Palm Beach a plan to bus students between school zones in being hatched.

Leon High School Principal Rocky Hanna found money to hire extra teachers and is using online classes to makes sure he meets the count.

“I don’t have one single core class over 25 and I’m very proud of that fact. It was just hard work,” said Hanna.

Supporters of a constitutional amendment to loosen the class size restrictions say a yes vote will help schools meet standards. Opponents say if education was properly funded, schools would never be in this mess.

If amendment 8 passes, fewer schools may be charged penalties based on this week’s count. Right now each class is counted individually, but 8 would allow districts to use school wide class averages to meet the standards

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  • by Unions are the problem Location: America on Oct 13, 2010 at 03:57 PM
    Google Michelle Rhee and the CBS news story of her firing due to unions after she was successful in reforming schools.
  • by Union Boss Location: America on Oct 12, 2010 at 10:08 AM
    Ladies...gentlemen....Don't listen to all the hoopla...Why change anything? So far, everything we've done has worked out quite well for me. The DOJJ will take care of the kids.
  • by Barry Location: Tallahassee on Oct 12, 2010 at 07:25 AM
    The Lottery was sold as *supplementing* education funding. I would like to know how much general revenue funding changed after the lottery dollars were flowing. Were those funds used to replace reductions in general education funding by the legislature? I don't think the problem is in terms of absolute dollars but in how those dollars are earmarked. Micromanagement of education is epidemic in Florida. Maybe the answer is figure out how to measure success in education and then get out of the way and let educators try creative approaches to meet those measures. Some will fail but some may succeed. We also have to give up our "one size fits all" mentality about educating kids. Spare the rod didn't work, beating an education into them didn't work. Isn't it time to try something else?
  • by Anon Location: Crawfordville on Oct 12, 2010 at 06:07 AM
    The lottery funds the Bright Futures scholarships, so while the money doesn't go to the school districts directly it does go to education.
  • by Anonymous Location: Tally on Oct 12, 2010 at 05:24 AM
    I am tired of hearing all this fuss is about funding for education. When Florida was lobbying the citizens of Florida to vote "yes" for a State Lottery it was presented that the funds generated by the Lottery would go toward education. Now too many agencies have their hand in the Lottery's pot so education is not being funded as it was presented to the citizens of Florida. The Lottery has grown with multiple games over the years so why can't more funds be drawn from the Lottery to fund education & stop all the fuss about schools not having enough funding. This way the counties can stop trying to raise mine & everyone else's property taxes.
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