Class size restrictions exceeded by at least 10 percent in nearly one out of five school districts

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Class size restrictions are exceeded by at least 10 percent in nearly one out of five school districts across the state, according to data for the 2012-13 school year compiled by the Florida Department of Education.

Statewide, 4.2 percent of classrooms are over the class-size limits approved by voters a decade ago. Thirty-six of the state’s 67 countywide school districts are in compliance with the amendment, which places limits on the number of students in classrooms based on the grade level.

In Hamilton and Levy counties, more than one in four classrooms exceeded the caps.

Former Marion County superintendent Jim Yancey told the Ocala Star Banner that it was less expensive for the cash-strapped district to pay a fine than hire the teachers and staff necessary to meet the requirements. Voters in Marion County last month rejected a tax increase that would have helped paid for additional teachers.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.