CRC - 2017                                                  P 89
       By Commissioner Washington
       washingtn-00093A-17                                     201789__
    1                         A proposal to amend                       
    2         Section 1 of Article IX of the State Constitution to
    3         specify the purpose and intent of the state’s public
    4         education system.
    6  Be It Proposed by the Constitution Revision Commission of
    7  Florida:
    9         Section 1 of Article IX of the State Constitution is
   10  amended to read:
   11                             ARTICLE IX                            
   12                              EDUCATION                            
   13         SECTION 1. Public education.—
   14         (a) The purpose of the public education system of Florida
   15  is to develop the intellect of the state’s citizens, to
   16  contribute to the economy, to create an effective workforce, and
   17  to prepare students for a job. The education of children is a
   18  fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. It is,
   19  therefore, a paramount duty of the state to make adequate
   20  provision for the education of all children residing within its
   21  borders. Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform,
   22  efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public
   23  schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education
   24  and for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of
   25  institutions of higher learning and other public education
   26  programs that the needs of the people may require. To assure
   27  that children attending public schools obtain a high quality
   28  education, the legislature shall make adequate provision to
   29  ensure that, by the beginning of the 2010 school year, there are
   30  a sufficient number of classrooms so that:
   31         (1) The maximum number of students who are assigned to each
   32  teacher who is teaching in public school classrooms for
   33  prekindergarten through grade 3 does not exceed 18 students;
   34         (2) The maximum number of students who are assigned to each
   35  teacher who is teaching in public school classrooms for grades 4
   36  through 8 does not exceed 22 students; and
   37         (3) The maximum number of students who are assigned to each
   38  teacher who is teaching in public school classrooms for grades 9
   39  through 12 does not exceed 25 students.
   41  The class size requirements of this subsection do not apply to
   42  extracurricular classes. Payment of the costs associated with
   43  reducing class size to meet these requirements is the
   44  responsibility of the state and not of local schools districts.
   45  Beginning with the 2003-2004 fiscal year, the legislature shall
   46  provide sufficient funds to reduce the average number of
   47  students in each classroom by at least two students per year
   48  until the maximum number of students per classroom does not
   49  exceed the requirements of this subsection.
   50         (b) Every four-year old child in Florida shall be provided
   51  by the State a high quality pre-kindergarten learning
   52  opportunity in the form of an early childhood development and
   53  education program which shall be voluntary, high quality, free,
   54  and delivered according to professionally accepted standards. An
   55  early childhood development and education program means an
   56  organized program designed to address and enhance each child’s
   57  ability to make age appropriate progress in an appropriate range
   58  of settings in the development of language and cognitive
   59  capabilities and emotional, social, regulatory and moral
   60  capacities through education in basic skills and such other
   61  skills as the Legislature may determine to be appropriate.
   62         (c) The early childhood education and development programs
   63  provided by reason of subsection subparagraph (b) shall be
   64  implemented no later than the beginning of the 2005 school year
   65  through funds generated in addition to those used for existing
   66  education, health, and development programs. Existing education,
   67  health, and development programs are those funded by the State
   68  as of January 1, 2002 that provided for child or adult
   69  education, health care, or development.
   70         (d) In order to build Florida’s talent pipeline for the
   71  careers of today and tomorrow and align the state’s education,
   72  workforce, and economic development efforts, it is the intent of
   73  the people to provide high quality and affordable postsecondary
   74  education opportunities.