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Broward and M-DCPS face class-size fines

admin | 11/9/2011, 11:50 a.m.

In an already cash strapped budget year, Miami-Dade and Broward Public School districts may face more fines for class overcrowding. To date, the exact amount of fines given to the counties wont be released by the Florida Department of Education until next month. Last year, Broward shelled out $732,000 in fines to the State and Miami-Dade paid $1.6 million in penalties for not meeting requirements. The law limits class size to 18 students in pre-kindergarten through third grade, 22 in fourth through eighth grade, and 25 for high school. Based on an analysis of data on fourth graders in 203 districts and eighth-graders in 182 school districts across the U.S., a U.S. Department of Education report found that class sizes served as an important link between school education spending and student mathematics achievement at both the fourth- and the eighth-grade levels. In Broward, which cut 1,100 teaching jobs this year, close to 50 percent of core classes are over the capacity permitted by law up from just three percent last school year. M-DCPS is not as bad. Their figures indicate that 95 percent of classes are in compliance with state law, but officials have not yet determined average class figures for the district. The dealing number of students coming in to the public school sector have helped to keep these districts in compliance. This school year, enrollment in traditional public schools fell by about 4,000 students, while each countys charter school system grew by 6,000 students.