According to the Florida Department of Education, in 2002, Florida citizens approved an amendment to the Florida Constitution that set limits on the number of students in core classes including math, English and science.
Class sizes for pre-kindergarten through third grade will be limited to 18 students per room, 22 for fourth through eighth grades and 25 for high school. In November, citizens will vote again on Amendment 8. When asked what they know about the amendment, one administrator had strong feelings on the issue.
“It’s not going to address the deficiencies that students have and continue to build on,” said Frederic Douglas, former FAMU mathematics professor. “It’s not going to address that directly.”
Bienke Estimond, 21, an elementary education student from Fort Lauderdale said it has both positive and negative affect on her as a future educator.
“If there are a smaller amount of students in the classrooms, it will be a more hands-on and personal relationship that I will have with my future students and it will be easier for them to learn,” Estimond said.
With the current economic situation, Douglas said that he hopes legislatures will reevaluate their decision.
“I hope that they take enough concern in realizing that less students in the classrooms mean less students being educated unless they hire more educators, unless they get more classes,” Douglas said, “but with the economic situation I don’t see where that’s coming form.”
“It’s kind of a negative outlook on it because if they’re going to continue to reduce all the class sizes, then they’re going to have to hire more teachers and budgets cuts are already high,” said Estimond.
The impact smaller class sizes may not have an affect on those who are administrators, but for children, specifically African American males, the change would be drastic.
“They are already from second grade putting African American boys in special ed classes and they are already disadvantaged without knowing the gender learning differences in males and females, and then African males at that,” Estimond said.