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ERIC Number: EJ786372
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb-20
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Leaner Class Sizes Add Fiscal Stress to Florida Districts
McNeil, Michele
Education Week, v27 n24 p1, 18 Feb 2008
With a total price tag pushing $10 billion, Florida's "class-size-reduction mandate"--the nation's toughest--is under fire, as school districts call on lawmakers to weaken the 2002 constitutional requirement before it is fully phased in later this year. Starting with the 2008-09 school year, individual districts must meet new size caps in each classroom, robbing school officials of the wiggle room they enjoyed during the phase-in period, when school systems were allowed to use districtwide and then schoolwide averages in calculating class sizes. The new requirements mean that districts must reduce pupil-teacher ratios in every classroom to 18-to-1 in prekindergarten though 3rd grade, 22-to-1 in grades 4-8, and 25-to-1 in high school, or face financial penalties from the state department of education. Officials warn that the mandate will mean hiring more teachers and building more classrooms at a time when the state is facing an ongoing $2 billion budget deficit and new pressures from a recently approved constitutional amendment cutting property taxes. Exceeding class-size caps is a costly proposition for Florida's districts. Failure to meet the amendment would force school districts to face the penalty: having to transfer operating funds used to pay for expenses such as teacher salaries into their capital budgets to add more classrooms.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail: customercare@epe.org; Web site: http://www.edweek.org/info/about/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida