The voters of Florida made it clear they want small class sizes in Florida primary schools, passing a state constituional amendment mandating shrinking class sizes over a ten-year period. Then the Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, future presidential candidate, made it clear that he intends to subvert the voters' will because nothing, not even children or democracy, is worth raising taxes for.
Now comes the the Republican leadership in the legislature to say that they just won't even try to pay for small classes, because, really, what's the point in doing that unless the voters again make it clear that they really meant what they said. Better first to try to get the voters to repeal the constitutional amendment in the hopes it will all blow over. King says state can't pay for smaller classes. And, hey, lets make the next vote in a special election in August, when turnout in South Florida is likely to be at its lowest! “The people have to speak,” one of the legislative leaders said…ignoring the fact that they already did.
Here's how I previously summarized Jeb Bush's Machiavellian actions on class size:
Schools in Florida, especially South Florida, are beyond overcrowded. Even in rich neighborhoods like mine, classes are taught in trailers, in cramped rooms sub-divided by makeshift partitions that leak noise and light, and in generally cramped and shabby conditions. The voters enacted a cap on class size, codified at Art. IX, , § 1, of the state Constitution that otherwise would never have been approved by our Republican-dominated legislature, and is which is loathed by Jeb Bush because he understands that it will require taxes to pay for it, and new taxes undermine his Presidential ambitions. It’s pretty clear that the voters really do want more spending on education (although not as much as the scary and not very plausible numbers Jeb Bush made up to try to defeat it), and that our state government would have left the kids in huge clases but for this. It’s also pretty clear that Jeb Bush wants to roll it back. He’s spoken of ‘devious plans’ to kill the measure, and even endorsed a second initiative to roll back the first —an idea that got about zero traction other than from some his own appointees to a state education board.
Thanks to South of the Suwannee for spotting the story about the legislature. Now please get an RSS feed….