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Senate passes watered-down class size amendment

by 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.”

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3 Responses to “Senate passes watered-down class size amendment”

  1. V Says:

    Typical republicon move.

    The people voted in the class size ammendment but the republicans know that would help improve pulic schools so they do what they can to get rid of it.

    None of this flurry of education bills, led by Thrasher who wasn’t even voted into office, is geared to help education. They are all intended to ruin public schools so the right wing can increase funding to charter and religious schools.

    Another move intended to destroy the middle class by right wing leaders and the sheeple that blindly follow them.

  2. Herb Lozott Says:

    As a registered Republican, I am ashamed of the Florida Senate and in particular Senator Thrasher. SB 6 is an absolute travesty. Not only for the harm it does to education in the State of Florida, but for what I perceive to be a total departure from the principals of my party. If the Democrats were to have introduced a bill of this nature, the entire Republican leadership would be screaming at the top of their lungs about the intrusion of big government into the lives of their constituents. This bill needs to be withdrawn and the entire Republican leadership, from the Governor on down had better do some real soul searching. Otherwise, I predict that they will have turned the state over to the Democrats.

  3. W.E.B. Dubois Says:

    I’m a Democrat, and I agree with V when he wrote that the Florida legislature is trying to destroy public education in Florida. I am very pleased that Sen. Alex Villalobos stood up against it. We need more reasonable Republicans such as him in government (not to mention more Democrats, of course!) Please also note that the legislature is changing retirement benefits for educators AFTER they have been working for years for low money, expecting a certain level of benefits. Horribly unfair. And yet, the legislature refuses to collect sales tax on internet sales, loosing 1.2 – 2 BILLION dollars every year. Incredible!

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