On September 10, 2010, Leon County Circuit Court Chief Judge Charles Francis issued a ruling that allowed the proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution to revise maximum class-size limits to remain on the November general election ballot. The Florida Education Association and others sought a declaratory judgment that the ballot statement and summary was misleading.
Amendment 8, as proposed by the Legislature, would allow existing class-size limits to be applied on the basis of average class size in each grade, rather than on a classroom-by-classroom basis. The limits, which the amendment does not change, are 18 per class in kindergarten through third grade, 22 per class in fourth through eighth grades, and 25 per class in ninth through 12th grades.
The union argued that the ballot statement attempted to “hide the ball” from voters by failing to mention that the impact of the amendment would be to reduce expenditures on public education. In allowing the amendment to remain on the ballot, Judge Francis ruled that the main purpose and scope of the amendment was to revise application of the class-size requirements, not to reduce funding, that the ballot statement was not misleading, and that the amendment did not alter the Legislature's responsibility to fund schools or shift any funding burden from the state to local school boards.
The Florida Education Association announced that it plans to appeal.