The Florida Supreme Court ruled today that Florida voters will be able to vote on Amendment 8, which would impact the number of students allowed in every classroom in all Florida public schools.
State Rep. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, who supports Alex Sink for governor and chairs the No on 8 campaign, has written:
Despite the progress smaller class size has brought, the Legislature has refused to fund the final phase of class size reduction and has instead placed a proposal on the ballot this November – Amendment 8 – to increase the maximum class size limit by over one-third.
This is about priorities. Ensuring that our schools are a place where teachers can teach and students can learn should be Florida’s top priority.
The Florida Independent contacted state Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, who cosponsored the amendment, but his office did not return our call.
U.S. Senate candidate Democrat Kendrick Meek, who chaired Florida’s Coalition to Reduce Class Size in 2002, posted this statement following a Leon County judge’s recent ruling to uphold Amendment 8:
Amendment 8 is a misleading attempt to trick Florida voters into watering down hard-fought class size limits and reduce funding for our schools and children. Backers of Amendment 8 are full and active participants in the culture of special interest bidding that has gone on for too long.
In 2002, the Coalition to Reduce Class Size proposed an amendment to the Florida Constitution to reduce the number of students in school classrooms. Florida voters approved that constitutional in November of that year.
The campaigns of Rick Scott and Alex Sink, gubernatorial candidates who support Amendment 8, did not respond to The Florida Independent.
Sink’s website states:
Alex Sink supports the proposed adjustment to Florida’s class size requirement [aka Amendment 8] as a common-sense approach that keeps schools from having to build expensive new classrooms for a handful of additional students. That money is better used to boost student, teacher and school performance. Alex will work to address class size concerns without compromising other reform efforts to improve education.
In his education plan (which you can read in full below) Scott states:
Amendment 8 is a common sense solution to solving the “one size fits all” problem that our schools are faced with when implementing the class size amendment. Amendment 8 will empower our local officials to allocate resources in a manner that best serves their community, saving tax payers money while still achieving the goal of having smaller, more manageable classrooms.
Scott’s full plan: