Almost two decades ago, Florida voters had become so fed up with large class sizes in their children’s public schools they voted to amend the constitution to correct the problem. Floridians knew is that smaller class sizes would benefit all students.
Research backs this up, supporting the positive impact that smaller classes have on student achievement and the role it plays in reducing the racial achievement gap seen all too in standardized testing.
Despite the overwhelming public support and research-based evidence that smaller classes, especially in early grades, have long-lasting positive impacts on students, Florida’s legislators have been trying to undermine the intent of the constitutional amendment almost since the minute it passed.
From dramatically decreasing the number of courses identified as “core,” to allowing school-wide averages for “Schools of Choice,” the Florida legislature’s attack on the constitution is harming our students. It is no surprise that more than 30 percent of parents who use vouchers in Florida say one of the top things they want from their school is “small classes.”
Students in Florida’s public schools have a constitutional right to small classes and the benefits that come with them. Instead of continuing to funnel public money into unaccountable private schools, the Florida Education Association calls upon the legislature and the governor to fully fund and implement the original 2002 voter mandate.