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Class size fines under review

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The Alachua County school district is beginning to review a potential fine it faces because of class size violations. Public Schools Spokeswoman Jackie Johnson says the district knew there would be a penalty because it was unwilling to compromise education to meet the class size limits.

[audio:http://www.wuft.org/news/files/2011/10/JOHNSON4.mp3]

She says the district is looking at a $400,000 penalty right now, although that number should drop drastically after all appeals are processed. The Florida Department of Education Communications office says no official findings on class size violations have yet been released, so these preliminary calculations may be coming from within the district.  Johnson says the class size law was originally approved by voters in 2002 and required the state to pay to implement the size limits, but the state failed to pay this price.

[audio:http://www.wuft.org/news/files/2011/10/JOHNSON5.mp3]

The district is pushing lawmakers to hold the state accountable for the funding, but ultimately, Johnson says the district will likely pay, and that will come from the district’s general fund.

(In depth version)

The Alachua County School District may face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for violating the state’s class size limit. School District Spokeswoman Jackie Johnson says the district is looking at a $576,000 penalty.

[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/ClassSizeFineWrapFinal.mp3]

 

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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