Independent investigation into Lake Co. class size controversy provides few answers

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. —

The independent investigation into how and why Lake County schools violated the state's class size rules failed to provide the answers that many demanded, Channel 9 has learned.

"It seems to be a trend of not giving any answers about vague rules," said Vance Jochim of the Lake County Fiscal Rangers. "And so, the people just kind of did what they want."

The anonymous surveys found that 136 teachers were asked by supervisors to sign false reports related to the actual number of children in their class.

"You have to take that with a grain of salt," said district spokesman Chris Patton. "As the report found out, a lot of people don't know what the class size regulations are."

The school system faced a $1 million fine for going over the class size limits but the state Department of Education decided to let the district off the hook. 

Some school board members wanted to know which administrators, if any, were responsible.

"I think they stopped short of asking the questions they needed to," said board member Tod Howard. "They got close.  They said, 'Have you ever been asked?' Well, the next logical question is, 'Who asked you?'"