The Florida Supreme court ruled today that Amendment 8, which would relax class size requirements, will stay on the November ballot.
The Florida Education Association argued that the ballot summary was unclear and filed suit to have the amendment invalidated. The ballot summary is as follows:
The Florida Constitution currently limits the maximum number of students assigned to each teacher in public school classrooms in the following grade groupings: for prekindergarten through grade 3, 18 students; for grades 4 through 8, 22 students; and for grades 9 through 12, 25 students. Under this amendment, the current limits on the maximum number of students assigned to each teacher in public school classrooms would become limits on the average number of students assigned per class to each teacher, by specified grade grouping, in each public school. This amendment also adopts new limits on the maximum number of students assigned to each teacher in an individual classroom as follows: for prekindergarten through grade 3, 21 students; for grades 4 through 8, 27 students; and for grades 9 through 12, 30 students. This amendment specifies that class size limits do not apply to virtual classes, requires the Legislature to provide sufficient funds to maintain the average number of students required by this amendment, and schedules these revisions to take effect upon approval by the electors of this state and to operate retroactively to the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year.
Proponents say that the amendment, which was sponsored by the Florida legislature, will allow for more flexibility within Florida public schools as well as save money. According to Florida Tax Watch, Amendment 8 could save the state between $350 million to $1 billion each year if it passes.
Opponents argue that Amendment 8 will lead to crowded classrooms, and allow lawmakers to spend less on education.