Friday, February 22, 2013

Florida House panel OKs bill to cut penalties for violating class sizes

By The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE ? Financial penalties would be reduced for school districts that violate Florida's class size limits under a bill moving in the Legislature.

A House education subcommittee approved the measure (HB 189) on Wednesday.

A 2002 state constitutional amendment limits classes in core subjects to 18 students in kindergarten through third grade, 22 in fourth through eighth grade and 25 in high school.

The state now penalizes districts for every class over those limits. Under the new bill, the state would impose penalties only if a school's average class size violates the limits.

That's the way the penalties were applied during a phase-in period from 2006 through 2010.

Statewide penalties totaled only $267,000 in the last year of school average penalties, but since then they have ranged from $10 million last year to $5.8 million this year.


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