Class Size Amendment

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email
Republicans at the Capitol are taking no chances with their plan to loosen the 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.

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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by anon Location: here on Mar 5, 2010 at 11:04 AM
    For those who are caught up in the scare tactics about the "costs" to keep up the class size amendment -the real threat comes from state and national Republican politicians who are using every possible means to eliminate the teachers` union. So much funding was reduced from public schools until test scores and grad rates dropped. Then schools got bad enough for some parents to transfer children to private or charter scools. Politicians sucessfully got public tax funds to go to fund these private schools (VOUCHERS). They want ALL Public schools eliminated - so there will be no more teachers who are members of the teachers union. This same directive showed up in the last presidential campaigns with lots of negatives being told about the National Education Association. Public school class size is and should be a decided function of a local school board - not state government. State government can argue about how much money goes to local school districts but it should stop there.
  • by Bob Location: Jasper on Mar 5, 2010 at 05:24 AM
    The class size amendment is as big a misteak as the "pregnant pig" amentment. Things like this have no business in the state constitution. Keep in mind that the legislature could simply shut all schools if it needed to, there are no gurantees of a free state education anywhere in law. The democrats that want to keep it should figure out where the money will come from to enact it. Will there be layoffs of police, fire or other safety workers? Will the sales tax be doubled or tripled? You have to pay for teachers and classrooms, they are not free.
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