Massullo listens to local education experts Citrus Chronicle editorial / april 18

THE ISSUE:

Rep. Massullo bill on class size.

OUR OPINION:

Modification makes good sense.

Rep. Ralph Massullo, R-Lecanto, is bringing some common sense to Tallahassee when it comes to the enforcement of class-size regulations in our schools.

It’s about time common sense made a reappearance in Tallahas

see.Florida voters wisely approved a constitutional amend

ment that instructed the state’s 67 county school boards to limit class sizes. The number of students allowed in one class varies from 18 to 25 depending on grade level.

In the old days, Florida school districts that did a poor job of handling tax dollars would solve their budget woes by stuffing too many students into classrooms. What worked for school budget experts did not work for the teachers or students in the classroom.

Students were not learning when they were in overcrowded classrooms.

In 2010, voters backed the amendment that changed all that. The impact of smaller classes has had the desired affect on student achievement. But details sometimes get in the way.

In certain cases, having just one more student at a specific class level has forced districts into hiring another teacher and opening another class.

The expense outweighed the benefit.

Massullo’s bill, which has been proposed by Citrus County school officials, permits schools to nudge over the constitutional limits if the school’s average class size meets the guidelines.

If passed, Massullo’s bill would give local officials the flexibility to move students within a school and stay in control of expenses.

The freshman legislator from Lecanto has done the right thing in listening to the experts in his community and then going to Tallahassee to propose changes.

That’s a refreshing change. Too many legislators believe that just because they were elected to a state office, they suddenly have all the right answers.

Massullo is on track to give education officials the authority to meet the intent of the constitutional amendment without being hampered by illogical rigidness.

The Legislature should approve Massullo’s efforts.

http://www.chronicleonline.com/content/massullo-listens-local-education-experts

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