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Duval County school superintendent speaks up about overcrowding issues

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Updated: 12/20/2013 6:03 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Rodney Sanders says his daughter thinks there are too many kids in her classes.

"My daughter complains, you know, she isn't getting the lesson she's supposed to or attention because of the classroom," said Sanders.

We first reported the district would not meet state guidelines for class size back in September.

At the time, Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti told Action News he expected the district to face a fine after an increase of more than 2,000 students this year.

"It would require an $18-$20 million investment in teachers, it would force us to make decisions that I think are not best for teachers or students," said Vitti.
teachers instead.

The state fined Duval County Public Schools more than $7 million last year, but Vitti succesfully appealed it to have the number lowered to $1.5 million.

He says they have even fewer overcrowded classrooms this year.

"Even when classrooms are out of compliance, you're only talking about one to three students," said Vitti.

But substitute teacher Jayme Trott says paying a fine, even if it is more than a million dollars, may be worth it.

"It's going to cost more to build a school, finish it and buy property, so I'd rather take the penalization than build a new school," said Trott.

Sanders says a penalty in the millions isn't worth it, and the money could go toward hiring more.

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