Florida legislators are set to change class size laws in that state. For the last 12 years, since the legislation was initially passed, opponents have tried to get rid of it, which imparts strict class size limits, and fines schools which have classes which are too big.
The problem that many schools face is that they can’t afford to have classes that small, because it requires bringing on more faculty. While the original law was in response to several decades of increasing class sizes, now it’s become a burden. Some schools have resorted to expand classes not covered by the law in order to teach students without being fined.
Many seem to think that allowing for somewhat larger classes won’t impact the quality of education that students receive, and it’s not like they’re going to allow for classes of two-hundred students. This isn’t about major public universities, after all. Although the exact class sizes seem to be up in the air, new legislation would require that schools meet a campus-wide average class size, instead of requiring all of the classes to meet the specifications.
Some legislators have made arguments about constitutionality and the like, but when it comes down to is, class size specifications were developed in response to overcrowded schools where students weren’t getting a strong enough education. Different teachers can handle different class sizes, but there is an upward limit to the number of people, especially children, that any teacher can manage.
The new legislation is likely to pass, as it faces only token opposition, and it is unlikely to overhaul the Florida education system. The goal is still to have small classes, but not to punish schools that can’t afford to follow the letter of the law. Financially burdened schools have enough problems to deal with, leveling additional burdens on them for trying to teach isn’t going to help.