Florida lawmakers last week cleared a measure that places a statewide referendum on the November ballot asking voters to make changes in the restrictive class-size amendment that has cost the state and local school districts billions to implement through construction of new schools and operational costs.

The referendum would ask voters to allow flexibility in the implementation of class-size limits that were imposed by a statewide vote in 2002.

Those limits are often cited by analysts in reviews of state ratings because of massive implementation and operational costs. Since the law was enacted, Florida has sold billions of debt for schools.

The 2002 amendment imposed a constitutional requirement limiting the maximum number of students per teacher in public schools. The change to be voted on this fall would allow schools to use the average numbers of students assigned to a teacher, instead of a specific number of students in each class per teacher.

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