Governor Jeb Bush's dream of weakening Florida's fairly restrictive constitutional amendment requiring uniform class size reductions has been quashed. The Sunshine State's Senate voted 19 to 21 to reject his proposal for a special referendum on changing the amendment so that class size would be measured at the district level, rather than on a class-by-class basis. Bush is none too happy over the huge expense of implementing the amendment - which he estimates will cost $27 billion by 2010.
The possibility that Bush could get the necessary 75 percent of the Florida Senate to support his proposal was always a long shot, since the minority Democrats had enough votes to block it. Although Bush tried to rally support by offering to raise teachers' salaries if the amendment was changed, the Florida Education Association in particular argued that making teachers choose between smaller classes and better salaries was unacceptable.