Teachers and Parents Voice Concerns on Classroom Overcrowding

Teachers and parents attended a Miami-Dade School Board meeting Wednesday wanting thier voices to be heard on the issue of classroom overcrowding.

The say the District is intentionally circumventing the Class Size Amendment that limits core class sizes to a maximum of 25 students.

"They're stuffing kids in the classroom like sardines and we're housing them," teacher Sevi Miyar said.

"We should respect the class size because it is in the state constitution and the voters have voted for it twice," added Thomas James, who's a teacher at Dr. Michael Crop Senior High.

Two years ago a different state law passed that allows class sizes to be counted by the average number of students in all of a school’s core classes, if that school is designated as a “school of choice."

In Miami-Dade County more than half are schools of choice.

"It is a loophole," Miyar said. "The school of choice is a loophole, because every school has become a school of choice."

In February, the Regional Superintendent told NBC 6 that's not the case.

“We’re using the designation because the law allows us that flexibility as well as providing the choices for students for what they need and for what they would like to take,” Vivian Santiesteban-Pardo said at the time.

Schedules also have to be juggled for each student, sometimes resulting in a class tipping over the limit.

So if there is a cap at 25, a student may not be able to take a core class they want or need.

"If we can put a man on the moon in 1969, we can figure out what to do with the additional student. This isn't rocket science," said James.

Teachers say the problem isn't with the extra one or two students. They're saying it goes beyond that. Some of them have more than 30 students in their class.

They say the solution is to prioritize class size over any other expenses. We reached out to the Miami-Dade School Board and they have yet to make a comment on this story.

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