Senate passes watered-down class size amendmentby Dara Kam | March 25th, 2010
The Florida Senate passed a proposed change to the constitution that would keep the class size limits at the school level instead of the classroom level as the constitution now requires.
In 2002, voters changed the constitution to cap class sizes at 18 for kindergarten through third grade, 22 for grades 4 -8 and 25 in high school.
The joint resolution would hold those caps at the school level and put new caps on the number of kids in classes by adding three students to PK-3 and five for students in grades 4-12.
Sen. Alex Villalobos, the lone Republican who opposed the measure, delivered an eloquent speech to a rapt chamber before the 26-12 vote was taken. He said the voters put the restrictions in the constitution because they wanted them.
“We didn’t get elected to come up here to have a nice chair or go to parties or have a bunch of lobbyists tell us how good we look or how smart we are or how witty we are,” Villalobos, R-Miami, said. “I believe the public is really sick and tired of politicians. We come up here and we pontificate all the time and it’s almost like we know better than anyone else. We don’t.”