Florida’s Amendment to Reduce Class Size
Article IX, Section 1, Florida Constitution, is amended to read:
Section 1. Public Education –
The education of children is a fundamental value to the people of the State of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount duty of the State to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders. Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education and for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of institutions of higher learning and other public education programs that the needs of the people may require. To assure that children attending public schools obtain a high quality education, the legislature shall make adequate provision to ensure that, by the beginning of the 2010 school year, there are a sufficient number of classrooms so that:
1. The maximum number of students who are assigned to each teacher, who is teaching in public school classrooms for prekindergarten through grade 3 does not exceed 18 students;
2. The maximum number of students who are assigned to each teacher who is teaching in public school classrooms for grades 4 through 8 does not exceed 22 students; and
3. The maximum number of students who are assigned to each teacher who is teaching in public school classrooms for grades 9 through 12 does not exceed 25 students.
The class size requirements of this subsection do not apply to extracurricular classes. Payment of the costs associated with reducing class size to meet these requirements is the responsibility of the state and not of local school districts. Beginning with the 2003-2004 fiscal year, the legislature shall provide sufficient funds to reduce the average number of students in each classroom by at least two students per year, until the maximum number of students per classroom do not exceed the requirements of this subsection.
Proposes an amendment to the State Constitution to require that the Legislature provide funding for sufficient classrooms, so that there be a maximum number of students in public school classes for various grade levels; requires compliance by the beginning of the 2010 school year; requires the Legislature, and not local school districts, to pay for the costs associated with reduced class size; prescribes a schedule for phased-in funding to achieve the required maximum class size.