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Duval Co. Schools fined highest in state for crowded classrooms

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Updated: 7/25/2013 8:29 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Duval Couny School District has been ordered to pay the highest fines for class size, in the entire state.

According to the Department of Education, Miami Dade County was fined $1.2 million, $1.3 million for Broward County and $1.5 million for Duval county.

One in six classrooms in Duval County were considered over-crowded, until now. Last year, the district was slapped with a hefty fine, a more than million dollar hole that Superintendent Dr. Nicholai Vitti looks to avoid next year.

"Going into next year we have created a policy, really a staff allocation plan, to make sure teachers are allocated on class size and every school has the same number of assistant principals based on the total number of students at that school," said Dr. Vitti.

Vitti says redistributing is their best fix, not a perfect fix.

"I don't agree with the class size law as it stands right now. Rather than a classroom level compliance, maybe a school average," said Dr. Vitti.

Action News found out the district reportedly pushed for that kind of change during the legislative session, but was denied that option. At least with this plan, we're told they can also reduce the size of their reading and math remediation.

"Those classrooms are the ones that really have to have the smaller teacher to student ratio," he said.

Dr. Vitti also says all it takes is for one more student to enroll in the middle of the school year, to throw them right back out of compliance.

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