NAACP Declares Victory with Senate Decision to Vote down Florida Class-Size Amendment

Seven Republicans joined 14 Democrats in Senate decision to save Florida's children

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Education Department declares victory with the Senate decision to repeal the Florida Class Size Reduction Amendment and commends the NAACP Florida State Conference, National Education Committee and National Advocacy and Policy Committee in their successful efforts in the nationwide movement against the amendment.

Dr. John H. Jackson, NAACP National Director of Education, said, "The NAACP and its partners are pleased with the Senate decision to save Florida's children from a precarious amendment. By defeating this proposed legislation, the NAACP and a bipartisan coalition of legislators have increased the likelihood that more students, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socio-economic status will have an opportunity to meet the state's educational achievement benchmarks. While we recognize this won't do it alone, we share the confidence of the citizens of Florida who voted and passed the 2002 amendment that reducing class sizes across the state will certainly help. "

The Class Size Reduction Amendment passed in November 2002 regulated the maximum number of students assigned to a teacher per classroom. The amendment called for a maximum of 18 students per teacher for pre-kindergarten through grade 3, a maximum of 22 students per teacher for grades 4 through 8, and a maximum of 25 students per teacher for grades 9 through 12.

Adora Obi Nweze, NAACP Board Member and President of the NAACP Florida State Conference, said: "This critical move by the Senate provided a major victory for all school-age children in the state of Florida. There is nothing more important that the legislators can do other than to ensure each child in the state has access to a high quality education."

Florida Governor Jeb Bush's resolution called for a district maximum average that would require that only the district average number of students assigned to a teacher be regulated, which could potentially lead to overcrowded classrooms.

The amendment was strongly supported by Floridians in 2002 with a 52% approval rating. Voters remained in opposition to the repeal, calling for legislators to focus their efforts on education.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

CONTACT: NAACP Office of Communications 410.580.5125

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