Mo' Students, Mo' Problems

Teachers might have to work with crowded classrooms to make more money

Classrooms at Miami-Dade schools could get a little more crowded next year.

A new measure that is moving forward in the House will loosen class size limits in an effort to save the state a few extra bucks.

Voters first passed the class-size amendment in 2002, but the law won’t take affect until 2010-11 school year.
Still, schools have been prepping for fewer students per classrooms for years. The state has already spent $16 billion on building new schools, more classrooms and hiring more teachers.
But the recent budget crunch being felt by school boards across the state have caused politicians to rethink the costly undertaking.
“It is undoable. It is inflexible, and it cannot be funded," said Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel on Wednesday.
Weatherford’s proposal would add between three and five students to the original class-size restrictions. The current class-size amendment caps classes at 18 students in kindergarten through third grade, 22 in fourth through eighth grades and 25 in high school.
Fewer students per classroom would translate into better education and more one-on-one attention from instructors, proponents said.
But packing classrooms would save money that could go toward improving teacher salaries, Republican sponsors claim.
For teachers, the math is simple. Mo’ students for mo’ money.
But voters will have the final say.
If it passes, the amendment to an amendment will be placed on the 2010 ballot and would need 60 percent approval to go into effect.
Copyright AP - Associated Press
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