An Urgent Crisis, An Effective, Affordable Remedy

III. Why It Is Necessary to Amend the Constitution

Some have suggested that class-size limits do not belong in the Florida Constitution but should be addressed through the legislative process. But the Legislature has repeatedly failed to fulfill quality education mandates that already appear in the constitution. The specific language of Amendment 9 is required to ensure that the voters’ will becomes state policy.

Amendment 9 serves as a vehicle to help fulfill the mandate of voters who, in 1998, called quality education “a fundamental value” and approved constitutional language asserting that the state has “a paramount duty … to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders.”119 As long as Florida’s classrooms remain overcrowded, that language in the constitution is nothing more than a broken promise.

Jane Kuckel, chair of the Lee County School Board, summed it up this way: “I don’t think we would have come to this point if over the last few years it had been a priority in our Legislature,” Kuckel said. “[The initiative] is an outcry from parents that you can’t do this anymore.”120

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