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Class sizes picture better

Only 16 of 67 districts failed to make mandated reductions - not 32 as a mid December report indicated, an official says.

By Associated Press
Published February 6, 2004

TALLAHASSEE - Many more school districts this year reduced class sizes than originally thought, a state official told a Senate panel Thursday.

The state Department of Education reported in mid December that 32 of the state's 67 school districts didn't meet the legal requirement to reduce the average class size by two students at each of three levels.

But according to the latest analysis, only 16 districts fell short, Jeanine Blomberg, assistant deputy education commissioner, told the Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee.

Voters in November 2002 ordered the state to reduce class sizes to certain levels by 2010.

The constitutional caps taking effect in that year call for no more than 18 students per classroom in kindergarten through third grade, 22 per classroom in fourth through eighth grades, and 25 students per classroom in high school.

Districts this year were supposed to lower their average class size at each level by two.

The state reported in mid December that 23 districts failed to meet that requirement in the grades K-3 group, 17 districts failed in the grades 4-8 group and four districts failed to meet the requirement in high school.

Under the new analysis, only 12 districts fell short at the K-3 level and five districts at the 4-8 level.

The number of districts falling short at the high school level was four, unchanged from December.

[Last modified February 6, 2004, 01:32:45]

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