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High Class Sizes Get Florida House, Senate OK

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(Source: CBS4) Children in a Florida classroom

(Source: CBS4) Children in a Florida classroom

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TALLAHASSEE – (CBSMiami) – Think your kids are already squeezed into their classrooms? Despite a constitutional amendment calling for smaller classes, Thursday The Legislature voted to loosen Florida’s class size limits, a decision that could result in packed classrooms.

The Senate voted 31-7 and the House 79-39 on Thursday for a bill (SB 2120) that would shrink the number of core courses covered by class size requirements and let schools break the caps for students who enroll after an annual head count.

The Senate on Wednesday had agreed to restore social studies as core classes and ensure that all prekindergarten through third grade classes are covered by the caps. The House didn’t accept those changes. A conference committee will try to resolve the differences, to allow a bill to go to Gov. Scott.

Both versions would remove other courses not required for graduation or tested by the state including foreign languages and advanced classes.

Teachers have objected to the efforts to keep class sizes high, saying it’s difficult to do a good job teaching large classes.

School administrators have asked for leeway in enforcing a state constitutional amendment mandating lower class sizes, saying the decision was made in much better budget times, and with looming budget cuts taxpayers simply can’t afford of smaller classes.

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