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.

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.

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.

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