Lake County Schools accused of lying about class sizes

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Shortly after a whistle-blower tipped the state to possible class size violations in one Lake County school, officials found the rules were broken at five other locations as well.

District spokesman Chris Patton said the principals did not want to constantly move children in and out of classes because it would disrupt the students' schedules. 

So, the students were kept in classes that went over the state limits and in some cases,  those numbers were incorrectly reported.

"While there was an intention to do the right thing, it didn't meet the letter of the law," said Patton.

Government watchdog Vance Jochim said the school board needs to find out whether any principals knowingly signed documents with false information and if they did, find out why.

"Yeah. They lied, if they're filling out a form," said Jochim.

In the meantime, Jochim said the state needs to loosen the class size rules.

"It's stupid to say, 'Well, you can only have 26 kids in a class. And if you've got one more or two more, you've got to create a whole new class and go to all that expense,'" said Jochim.

Superintendent Susan Moxley distributed a letter to school board members this week informing them the district will face state penalties over what happened.