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Florida looks to roll back class-size mandates

Officials in Florida, where voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2002 that mandated reducing class sizes, are looking to roll back further limits in an effort to save money.

Gov. Charlie Crist says he is recommending changes in the law that would give school systems more flexibility in meeting class-size standards.

Florida and other states and school systems reduced class sizes in response to research that indicated students in smaller classes perform better. The law in Florida called for limiting a school's average class size in kindergarten through third grade to 18 students, fourth through eighth grade to 22 students, and high school classes to 25.

A provision set to go into effect for 2010-11 would require that every classroom meet those class-size guidelines. Crist supports a plan to calculate class-size compliance at the school level rather than individual classrooms. No individual class would be allowed to exceed the limit by three or more students in grades K through 3, or five or more students in grades 4 through 12.

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