TAVARES — At the request of the Lake County School Board, the Lake County Board of County Commissioners agreed at its meeting Tuesday to support the School Board’s adopted resolution #2010-09, affirming support of Amendment 8 relating to class size.
In 2002, citizens approved an amendment to the Florida Constitution that set limits on the number of students in core classes, such as Math, English, and Science, in the state's public schools. Beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, the maximum number of students in each core class would be 18 students in prekindergarten through grade 3; 22 students in grades 4 through 8; and 25 students in grades 9 through 12.
Amendment 8 will ask voters to change the state constitution's current maximum class sizes to "school-wide average class sizes." If the amendment is approved by voters, maximum class size would be calculated based on the school-wide average of the number of students in core classes assigned to each teacher; and would set the maximum number of students assigned to each teacher, while not exceeding the school-wide average, to be 21 students in prekindergarten through grade 3; 27 students in grades 4 through 8; and 30 students in grades 9 through 12.
“Lake County is one of the few counties where the majority of the voters voted against the class size amendment [in 2002]”, said Jimmy Conner, County Commissioner, District 3. “I think what this amendment does is it tries to fix the class size amendment that was passed.”
The School Board’s resolution states that they support Amendment 8 because it provides the needed flexibility in meeting class size requirements and eliminates the potential unintended consequences of the strict implementation and maintenance of the current class size limits; yet provides sufficient safeguards to ensure that the educational benefits of the current class sizes limits will be retained and pursued.