School Climate & Safety A State Capitals Roundup

Gov. Bush Offers Alternative to Fla. Class-Size Amendment

By Robert C. Johnston — February 23, 2005 1 min read

Gov. Jeb Bush has backed off his call to repeal Florida’s constitutional amendment that sets limits on class sizes. Instead, he is proposing an alternative plan that he says would ease Florida’s transition to smaller classes and raise teacher salaries.

Under the Republican governor’s plan, which he has asked lawmakers to put before state voters, districts would have the option of using average class size across a district to meet limits on the number of students in a class by 2007.

The current mandate, passed by voters in 2002, requires that by 2010, the state cap individual class sizes at 18 students in kindergarten through 3rd grade, 22 in grades 4-8, and 25 in high school. Gov. Bush had vowed to overturn the plan, saying it would be too costly.

To help meet the need for more teachers to implement class-size reduction, Mr. Bush would set minimum beginning-teacher pay at $35,000, and require that such teachers’ pay stay above the national average for beginning teachers.

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A version of this article appeared in the February 23, 2005 edition of Education Week

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