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Duval Schools Get $5 Million Reduced from Class Size Fine

4:23 PM, Jan 18, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Duval County Public Schools got a break from the state Board of Education, but still owes over $1 million that will have to come from the same budget that buys items like textbooks.

The school system originally was fined more than $6 million for failing to adhere to constitutionally mandated class-size requirements.

According to DCPS spokesperson Jill Johnson, the Duval district is one of only a few in the state to see increased enrollment this year, so the school board appealed the fine.

On appeal, the fine was reduced by $5 million to $1.4 million, Johnson said.

The increased enrollment will only add to the challenge of meeting the class-size limits, but Johnson said Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals plans to certify that the district will be in compliance.

The class-size requirements call for 18 students in K-3 classrooms, 22 in grades 4-8 and 25 students in high school classrooms.

Once that happens, which Johnson said should be in about a month, the fine could be reduced further, to $350,000.

A constitutional amendment was on the ballot in November to modify the class-size requirement, but it failed to get the 60 percent support needed to become law.

There were 36 school districts in Florida fined for similar violations, and the total amount imposed was about $43 million, though most school districts, like Duval County, appealed.

First Coast News

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