St. Johns County Schools Welcome Fewer Restrictions With Amendment 8 | Families

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St. Johns County Schools Welcome Fewer Restrictions With Amendment 8

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. --  When there are more than 18 students in a classroom at Ketterlinus Elementary in St. Augustine, two teachers will team up in the room.

State guidelines allow 18 students per teacher in elementary schools, 22 in middle schools.  

St. Johns Superintendent Joseph Joyner says the constant balancing act from those hard class size caps has been a burden on school districts.

"All of the decisions and I would call those unintended consequences, have not been necessarily good for kids.  So our first objection is on an instructional, student level," said Joyner.

He says he would welcome new flexibility offered by Amendment 8, which is on the ballot November 2nd.

"I think smaller classes are good but I don't think teachers like children moved out of their classroom after they've formed relationships," said Joyner.

Principal Lisa Kunze says the class caps have forced them to reassign specialized teachers and that has hurt the curriculum.

"It does sound nice, 22 in a classroom, teachers will tell you, 22 in a classroom is nice, that's a nice number to deal with.  But without money to hire more teachers there are consequences," said Kunze.

With Amendment 8 there would still be class size caps but they would be based on the class size averages and not a hard count.

If Amendment 8 passes, 21 students would be allowed per teacher in Pre-K through 3rd grade.

27 students in grades four through eight.

And in high school, classes could grow to 30 students.

The next school town hall meetings in St. Johns County are Monday at Landrum Middle and Tuesday at Pacetti Bay Middle.

Then a week from Oct. 25 at St. Augustine High.

All start at 7 p.m.

MORE: What amendments are on the ballot?






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