by Lucia Baez
In 2002, Florida voters passed a constitutional amendment to limit class size. They did not overturn it in 2010. How can we have classes with 45 students when the limit is 25? Is there some sleight of hand going on? Well yes. The Miami Herald reported that electives were exempt, and some classes like AP became electives. Classes that had been limited to twenty five students increased. With the severe funding cuts over several years, districts have had to somehow manage to do more with less. They looked at the flexibility given to charters and wanted some for themselves.
Charter schools could average class size across the school. So, some classes could be large and others small. With the help of the legislature in 2013, districts could do the same if they called their schools ‘schools of choice’. Now a bill has been filed to legitimize the practice. SB 818 was recently filed by Senator Garcia. It is curious that it is possible to circumvent the constitution when it is convenient.
A teacher and League member from Miami has written a letter. See what she has to say. Her tone is gentle; her message is strong.