Class Size Amendment

Staff Photo: Michelle Floyd
Ayanah Johnson, a second-grader at Shoal Creek Elementary School, draws her family crest during Enrichment Camp. In the class, Me and My Family Tree, students learn about genealogy and use computer applications like Microsoft PowerPoint.
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Republicans at the Capitol are taking no chances with their plan to loosen the class size amendment.

They've put it on the fast track to passage, and today the powerful Senate ways and means committee voted to send the plan to the floor.
If the full legislature approves it, come November you'd have a chance to vote to repeal the hard caps on class size approved by voters eight years ago.
Instead, class size would be computed based on a school-wide average.
To take an example, if a class has one too many students, you wouldn't have to hire an extra teacher or build a new classroom to comply with the law.
But, the committee's Democrats put up a tough fight.
They're worried watering down the amendment would lead to *even bigger* classes than we had eight years ago.
That's why they're trying to compromise by pushing for a temporary freeze on efforts to meet those hard caps.
"Rather than placing this on the ballot, we need to come up with some common-sense solutions and put them in statute to deal with the crisis that we're facing right now," says Senator Frederica Wilson of Miami.
Giving the Democrats some hope...Unlike eight years ago, repealing the amendment would take 60% of the vote.
To give you perspective, the original amendment passed with just over fifty percent.


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