Florida Reduce Class Size, Amendment 9 (2002)

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The Florida Reduce Class Size Amendment, also known as Amendment 9 was an initiated constitutional amendment on the November 5, 2002 election ballot in Florida, where it was approved.

The amendment amended Article IX, Section 1 of the Florida Constitution to require the legislature to restrict the number of students in a classroom and for the legislature to provide the funds to do so.[1]

Aftermath

Class sizes amended

On April 7, 2011 the Florida State Legislature approved expanding the state's class-size limits. The legislation cut the number of classes subject to class-size limits by almost 2/3rd. Specifically, the legislation changes the definition of core curricula covered by the limits. It does not however change the classes covered in grades K-3. A total of 288 classes are now considered part of the core curriculum. Previously, 849 classes were considered in this category. The approved legislation allowed for school districts to exceed the limits by up to three students in K-3 and five students in grades 4-12.[2]

The Senate voted 30-7, while the House voted 79-39 in approval of the legislation.[2]

2010 proposed amendment

See also: Florida Class Size, Amendment 8 (2010)

The Florida Class Size, Amendment 8 was a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the November 2, 2010 ballot in Florida, where it was defeated.

The legislation asked for voters to change the Florida Constitution's "'maximum' class sizes to school-wide 'average' class sizes."[3] Specifically the measure would have amended Section 1 of Article IX and created Section 31 of Article XII in the Florida State Constitution. Revisions would have amended class size requirements for public schools and provided an effective date.[4] At least 60 percent of voters were required to approve the measure in order pass the measure.[5]

However, because the measure was defeated by voters, class caps remained as previously scheduled and classes were required to meet those caps: 18 students in kindergarten through third grade; 22 students in fourth through eighth; and 25 students in ninth through 12th.[6]

Election results

Florida Amendment 9 (2002)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 2,550,201 52.39%
No2,317,67147.61%

Results via: The Florida Department of State, Division of Elections

Text of measure

The ballot title read:

Florida's Amendment to Reduce Class Size[1][7]

The ballot summary read:

Proposes an amendment to the State Constitution to require that the Legislature provide funding for sufficient classrooms so that there be a maximum number of students in public school classes for various grade levels; requires compliance by the beginning of the 2010 school year; requires the Legislature, and not local school districts, to pay for the costs associated with reduced class size; prescribes a schedule for phased-in funding to achieve the required maximum class size.[1][7]

Constitutional changes

The text of the amendment read:

Section 1. Public Education.-

The education of children is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders. Adequate provision sh all be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education and for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of institutions of higher learning and other public education programs that the needs of the people may require. To assure that children attending public schools obtain a high quality education, the legislature shall make adequate provision to ensure that, by the beginning of the 2010 school year, there are a sufficient number of classrooms so that:

1. The maximum number of students who are assigned to each teacher who is teaching in public school classrooms for prekindergarten through grade 3 does not exceed 18 students;

2. The maximum number of students who are assigned to each teacher who is teaching in public school classroom s for grades 4 through 8 doe s not exceed 22 students; and

3. The maximum number of students who are assigned to each teacher who is teaching in public school classroom s for grades 9 through 12 does not exceed 25 students.

The class size requirements of this subsection do not apply to extracurricular classes. Payment of the costs associated with reducing class size to meet these requirements is the responsibility of the state an d not of local school district s. Beginning with the 2003 - 2004 fiscal year, the legislature shall provide sufficient funds to reduce the average number of students in each classroom by at least two students per year until the maximum number of students per classroom does not exceed the requirements of this subsection.[1]

Path to the ballot

  • The initiative was sponsored by Coalition to Reduce Class Size.
  • The initiative petition required 488,722 signatures and 581,368 were found valid.[1]

See also

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External links

References