Florida Board of Education Seeks $1.9 Billion for New Classrooms

GAINESVILLE, Fla.-On Sept. 20, the Florida Board of Education voted unanimously to seek $1.9 billion from the Legislature next spring to build 6,500 new classrooms. The classrooms are needed to comply with a 2002 change in the state constitution that limits the number of students per class.

Education officials said school districts would need an additional $2.3 billion in construction money to reduce classes by the 2010 deadline. House and senate leaders said the $1.9 billion cost for classroom construction would pull money away from other state programs.

Gov. Jeb Bush, who opposed the class-size measure, said he would submit an alternative proposal to legislators.

Florida’s 67 school districts have until 2010 to reduce class size to 18 students in pre-kindergarten through third grade, 22 students in grades 4-8 and 25 students in high school classes.