COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - 1,000 elementary school students could be going to a new school next year if Amendment 8 doesn't pass on the November ballot.
The vote could give districts more flexibility to deal with the state's Class Size Amendment. It was adopted in 2002 and limits the number of students in each classroom. Nine Collier County elementary schools would have to be rezoned.
The district held a public meeting about the Class Size Amendment, on Thursday.
"You don't want that to happen to any child or family for that matter," said parent Nick Crane.
"It's hard on the child because they have to make new friends again," said parent Antoinette Mullendore.
Collier County school officials tell Wink News they wouldn't have to switch the kids if Amendment 8 passes on the November Ballot. District leaders hope they'll get out of paying the state massive fines for not complying with the original 2002 Class Size Amendment.
"Its up to $7 million for the total fine," says the district's Michele LaBute. "But, we'll get 75% back."
That totals about $2 million.
If Amendment 8 doesn't pass, the school district will also have to hire another 150 teachers.
"The new teachers we'd need would cost us anywhere from $14 to $16 million," said LaBute.
But, Wink News spoke with one parent who's also an out of work teacher. Renee Hughes says the Class Size Amendment could help put teachers back to work and help students succeed.
"I think they would ultimately enjoy it better with a smaller class, a more intimate setting where they could be one on one with the teacher more," said Hughes.
The district tells Wink, it's possible Amendment 8 won't make it on the ballot. The Florida Education Association has filed a lawsuit about it, saying the language is misleading. A judge is supposed to hear that case on September 8th.