Lake County School District class-size violation investigated

By Sheli Muniz - Reporter, Michelle Dendy - Web Editor

TAVARES, Fla. - Lake County School District leaders will launch an independent investigation on Thursday after the district was found to have violated the state's class-size law.

Some teacher said they were asked to fake the number of students in their classes to meet state law.

Superintendent Dr. Susan Moxley said she doesn't know whether it was malicious or a mistake when at least six schools violated the state law, putting five extra students to a class in some cases.

"That is one of the reasons for the independent review, because we need to get to the bottom of it," Moxley said.

Leaders say a Lake Minneola High School teacher went to state leaders, saying the district was pulling kids from her class, but only when state investigators were in town to check on class sizes.

The controversy involved about 70 kids. The maximum students allowed in a class is 25 in high school.

President of the County Education Association Stuart Klatte said there is a culture of fear and that he received complaints from some teachers to fake the numbers.

"That they're being asked to sign a roster that for students that are in their class, they're responsible for their grades and don't show up on their roster," said Klatte.

Moxley said the request didn't come from her office and called the process extremely complicated.

Moxley will decide if principals should be punished after the internal investigation is over, which could take months.

Lake County School District will have to pay a fine as a results of the mistakes.

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