A group of construction workers in Miami Lakes who last week began fighting to receive wages they are owed for several weeks of work will meet today to file a complaint through Miami-Dade County’s anti-wage theft ordinance, a measure under attack in the courts and in the Florida Legislature. (more…)
A bill that would increase the number of students in Florida’s K-12 classrooms is making its way through the legislature, even though voters defeated an Amendment that proposed this increase in the November 2010 election.
Class sizes in Florida public schools may be getting much larger again next fall despite voter-mandated restrictions that went into effect just this year.
Calculus, analytical geometry, anatomy, zoology, Spanish and dozens more of the toughest courses offered in high schools no longer would be considered “core” courses under a new interpretation of the class-size amendment to the state constitution that state lawmakers are pursuing.
The “Class Size Requirements” bill filed by state Sen. David Simmons, R-Maitland, deletes a reference to the state Constitution regarding class size maximums, approved in 2002 by Florida voters.
In the November 2010 general election voters rejected Amendment 8, which would have increased the maximum number of students assigned to each teacher in an individual classroom.
The Florida Constitution currently caps the number of students per classroom at 18 for pre-kindergarten through grade 3, 22 for grades 4 through 8, and 25 for grades 9 through 12.
The Sentinel reports that school officials fall on both sides of the class reduction, adding that:
The Republican-controlled Legislature for years has sought to reduce costs of the class-size amendment, which has run to an additional $18.5 billion for extra teachers and related expenses since its passage in 2002, including $3 billion this year. Officials say the pending changes allow more options in the face of anticipated cuts in state funding.
The Sentinel adds:
Mark Pudlow, spokesman for the Florida Education Association, said the teachers union initially supported giving school districts flexibility in meeting class-size rules but the current proposal is “trying to hoodwink voters” who called for class-size restrictions.
“This is all about saving money,” Pudlow said.