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Teacher union files lawsuit to keep class size amendment off ballot

by Dara Kam | July 23rd, 2010

The Florida teachers’ union filed a lawsuit today to keep a constitutional amendment watering down class size restrictions off the ballot in November.

The GOP-dominated legislature put Amendment 8 on the ballot to allow school districts flexibility with constitutionally-mandated class size restrictions voters approved in 2002.

The class sizes have been eased in over time and this year are set to go from school-level averages to individual classroom pupil/teacher limits.

The proposed amendment, if approved by voters in November, would keep the averages at the school level.

But Ron Meyer, the lawyer representing the Florida Education Association and who filed the lawsuit this morning, contends that the amendment is really about stiffing taxpayers by not adequately funding education as the state constitution requires.

Lawmakers failed to put $354 million needed to comply with the class sizes into the budget this year, Meyer said.

The ballot title and summary don’t tell voters that the real aim of the amendment is to cut back on education spending, he accused.

“The failure of the legislature to be honest with parents – to tell them that Amendment 8 cuts funding to public schools which will result in crowded classrooms once again – is what makes this lawsuit necessary,” Meyer said in a press release.

Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, a Democrat running for governor, said she supports the amendment because it gives flexibility to school districts.

Read the lawsuit here.

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6 Responses to “Teacher union files lawsuit to keep class size amendment off ballot”

  1. Both parties Says:

    We can’t afford it. Let’s look to schoolwide counts and let the school administrator, rather than politicians decide the numbers in a classroom.

    Are the democrats still pushing Race To The Top and MERIT PAY for teachers.

    Has any teacher group quesioned Obama and democrats RUNNING for office their stance on TEACHER MERIT PAY.

    When police officers are held accountable for the number of murders, burglaries and other crimes they solve and when fire rescue is held accountable for saving homes THEN and ONLY THEN should teachers be held accountable.

    Let’s face it. It’s a FAILED parent, a parent uninvolved, oblivious to their children, who make excuses rather than hold them accountable for their actions.

    NO to class size amendment, NO to teacher MERIT PAY and NO to democrats who, along with republicans are espousing this.

    Don’t be stupid and think it’s just republicans…it’s OBAMA’S Department of Education Secretary, Arne Duncan who is trumpeting MERIT PAY.

    amazing how,republicans get ‘blamed’ when they are working with, for this.

    Both parties are wrong.

    Democrats are leading the way, though.

    Vote out ALL democrats.

  2. blame parents again, huh? Says:

    “Let’s face it. It’s a FAILED parent, a parent uninvolved”, etc.

    What a shallow & self-serving view you have.

    Parents and teachers, for the most part, do work together. Stop blaming parents.

    If there is difficulty, there could also be an undiagnosed or unsupported disability the child has.

    As well, we have become so test -based that real teaching has become secondary. It’s as tough on kids, as it is teachers.

    I support teachers, respect them and support higher compensation.

    I do not support bigger class sizes. It’s already difficult for the teachers.

    Our government needs to stop cutting on education and view it as an investment. Instead, money is going to fund never-ending wars.

  3. li Says:

    Lawsuit claim: “The Amendment, in reality reduces the funding required to be provided by the State of Florida to local school districts to ensure smaller class sizes.”

    This means AMENDMENT 8 would require districts to pay substantially MORE for school funding and the state substantially LESS! Yet the voters don’t realize this and think Amendment 8 will save their districts money.

    This is a huge! GO FEA!
    Don’t let the legislators try to amend
    What we the people voted in!

  4. finearts4life Says:

    What Andy Ford and FEA aren’t telling you is that Superintendent’s like Art Johnson instead to eliminate Fine Arts programs in order to comply. No Art. No PE. No Music. No Media.

  5. BobinBoynton Says:

    Bottom Line: If Voters approved it, then it SHALL be inforced! Art Johnson waste way more money than it will cost to enforce this. Let’s hold him and the the Schoolboard accountable. Period!!!
    AJ must go and we need to find a Superintendent that will uphold the desire of his constituents.
    As voters, we need to “DEMAND” an accountibility of “HIS” spending.

  6. BobinBoynton Says:

    Art Johnson and the current schoolboard must go!

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