Key Votes

S 2247 - Education Law Amendments - Key Vote

Massachusetts Key Votes

Scott Brown voted Yea (Conference Report Vote) on this Legislation.

Read statements Scott Brown made in this general time period.

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NOTE: A NEW BILL NUMBER IS ASSIGNED WHEN A NEW VERSION OF THE BILL IS DRAFTED.

Stage Details

Legislation - Signed (Executive) -

Title: Education Law Amendments

Legislation - Conference Report Adopted (House) (98-47) - (Key vote)

Title: Education Law Amendments

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to adopt a conference report that amends state education law, including, but not limited to, authorizing additional charter schools beyond the current statewide cap, authorizing the establishment of Innovation Schools, and authorizing the classification of "underperforming" and "chronically underperforming" schools and school districts, which requires the establishment of an "turnaround plan."

Highlights:

-Authorizes school districts to do the following if, based on student performance data, the district is in the lowest 10 percent of all statewide student performance scores released in the 2 consecutive school years before the date that a charter school application is submitted (Sec. 7):
        -Increase the district's total charter school tuition payment beyond the current 9 percent, provided the spending does not exceed 18 percent of net school spending; and
        -Establish additional charter schools beyond the current statewide cap of 120.

-Requires any additional charter schools established according to the aforementioned guidelines to have a record of having operated at least 1 school or similar program that demonstrates "academic success and organizational viability" and serves student populations similar to those that the proposed charter school seeks to serve, from the following categories of students (Sec. 7):
        -Students eligible for free or reduced price lunch;
        -Special education students;
        -Limited English-proficient students;
        -Sub-proficient students, meaning those who scored in the "needs improvement," "warning, "or "failing" categories on the mathematics or English language arts exam of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System examines for 2 of the past 3 years, or as defined by the Department of Education using a similar measure;
        -Students who have dropped out or are designated as at risk of dropping out of school based on predictors established by the Department of Education; or
        -Other "at-risk" students who should be targeted to eliminate achievement gaps amoung different groups of students.

-Authorizes the Commissioner of Education and Secondary Education to classify a school, other than a Horace Mann charter school, as "underperforming" or "chronically underperforming" based on the following (Sec. 3):
        -Student performance data collected by the Board of Education;
        -School or district review performed on behalf of the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability; or
        -Regulations adopted by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

-Specifies that schools scoring in the lowest 20 percent statewide among schools serving common grade levels on a single measure developed by the Department of Education and Secondary Education are eligible for designation as "underperforming" or "chronically underperforming," provided that such measure takes into account student performance data and, beginning July 1, 2011, improvement in student academic performance (Sec. 3).

-Limits the classification of "underperforming" and "chronically underperforming" to no more than 4 percent of schools in Massachusetts at any given time (Sec. 3).

-Specifies that schools districts in the lowest 10 percent statewide when compared to other districts of the same grade levels based on a single measure developed by the Department of Education and Secondary Education are eligible for designation as "chronically underperforming," provided that such measure takes into account student performance data and, beginning July 1, 2011, improvement in student academic performance (Sec. 3).

-Limits the classification of "chronically underperforming" to no more than 2.5 percent of school districts in Massachusetts at any given time (Sec. 3).

-Requires the appointment of a receiver for a school district classified as "chronically underperforming" with all the powers of a superintendent and school committee (Sec. 3).

-Requires the establishment of an "turnaround plan" for schools and school districts classified as "underperforming" or "chronically underperforming" that shall be authorized for a period of up to 3 years, and specifies that the plan will be estblished by the following (Sec. 3):
        -Superintendent for schools classified as "underperforming";
        -Commissioner for schools classified as "chronically underperforming"; and
        -Commissioner and receiver for school districts classified as "chronically underperforming."

-Requires superintendents or the Commissioner to convene a local stakeholder group for the purpose of soliciting suggestions for the "turnaround plan" for a school or district, consisting of no more than 13 members, including the following (Sec. 3):
        -Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee, if the plan is being established by the superintendent ("underperforming" schools);
        -Superintendent or the superintendent's designee, if the plan is being established by the Commissioner ("chronically underperforming" schools or school districts);
        -Chair of the School Committee, or the Chair's designee;
        -President of the local teacher's union, or the President's designee;
        -Administrator from the school selected by the superintendent, including, but not limited to, the school principal;
        -Teacher from the school selected by the faculty;
        -Parent from the school selected by the local parent organization or superintendent if no such organization exists, or multiple parents if it's for a school district classified as "chronically underperforming";
        -Representatives of applicable state and local social service, health, and child welfare agencies, selected by the superintendent;
        -Representatives of state and local workforce development agencies, selected by the superintendent;
        -Representative of an early education and care provider chosen by the Commissioner of the Department of Early Education and Care, if the plan is for an elementary school;
        -Representative of the higher education community selected by the Secretary of the Department of Early Education and Care, if the plan is for a middle school or high school; and
        -Member of the community appointed by the chief executive of the city or town.

-Requires the "turnaround plan" for schools and school districts classified as either "underperforming" or "chronically underperforming" to including the following (Sec. 3):
        -Steps to address social service and health needs of students and their families, including mental health and substance abuse screenings;
        -Steps to address improving or expanding child welfare services and law enforcement services;
        -Steps to address improving workforce development services provided to students and their families;
        -Steps to address achievement gaps for those with limited English proficiency, students enrolled in special education, and low income students;
        -Alternative English language learning programs for limited English proficient students; and
        -Budget for the school.

-Requires the "turnaround plan" for schools and school districts classified as either "underperforming" or "chronically underperforming" to include measurable annual goals in the following areas (Sec. 3):
        -Student attendance and dismissal rates;
        -Student safety and discipline;
        -Student promotion and graduation;
        -Student achievement on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System;
        -Progress in areas of "academic underperformance";
        -Progress among subgroups of students, including low-income, limited English-proficient, and special education students;
        -Reduction of achievement gaps among different groups of students;
        -Student acquisition and mastery of contemporary skills;
        -Development of college readiness;
        -Building a "culture of academic success" and a "culture of student support and success";
        -Parent and family engagement; and
        -Developmentally appropriate child assessments from pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade, if applicable.

-Authorizes superintendents and the Commissioner to institute various changes when establishing the "turnaround plan" for schools and school districts classified as "underperforming" or "chronically underperforming," after considering the recommendations of the group of stakeholders, including, but not limited to, the following (Sec. 3):
        -Require the principle, administrator, and teachers to reapply for their positions, provided the superintendent has consulted applicable unions and does not dismiss or fail to rehire a teacher with out "good cause";
        -Limit, suspend, or change 1 or more provisions of any contract or collective bargaining agreement, provided the compensation of an administrator, teacher, or staff member is not reduced without proportionately reducing their hours;
        -Expand, alter, or replace the curriculum of the school or district;
        -Reallocate the funds of the existing budget of the school or district;
        -Provide additional funds to the school from the district's budget if the school does not receive funding from the district at levels equal to the average per pupil funding received for students of the same classification and grade level in the district (this does not apply to school districts being classified as "chronically underperforming");
        -Provide funds, subject to appropriation, to increase the salary of administrators or teachers;
        -Expand the school day or school year;
        -For elementary schools, add pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten classes; and
        -Limit, suspend, or change 1 or more school district policies.

-Requires superintendents and the Commissioner to annually review the performance of schools or districts classified as "underperforming" or "chronically underperforming" respectively to determine if the annual goals of the "turnaround plan" are being met (Sec. 3).

-Authorizes superintendents and the Commissioner to modify an "turnaround plan" for schools or districts classified as "underperforming" or "chronically underperforming" if it is determined that 1 or more goals in the "turnaround plan" have not been met (Sec. 3).

-Requires the Commissioner to conduct a review of a school classified as "underperforming" upon the expiration of an "turnaround plan" in which the Commissioner shall determine 1 of the following (Sec. 3):
        -The school has improved sufficiently for the designation of the school as underperforming to be removed;
        -The school has improved, but the school remains underperforming, in which case the superintendent may, with approval of the commissioner, renew the plan or establish a new modified play for another period of up to 3 years; or
        -The school is still chronically underperforming, in which case a "turnaround plan" is required according to the provisions of this Act.

-Requires the Commissioner to conduct a review of a school classified as "chronically underperforming" upon the expiration of an "turnaround plan" in which the Commissioner is authorized to do 1 of the following (Sec. 3):
        -Renew the innovation plan for another period of up to 3 years;
        -Appoint an external receiver to operate the school if the school remains "chronically underperforming";
        -Transfer the operation of a school from an external receiver to the superintendent or another external receiver if the school is currently operated by an external receiver and remains "chronically underperforming"; or
        -Remove the designation of "chronically underperforming" if the Commissioner determines that the school has improved sufficiently.

-Requires the school board to conduct a review of a school district classified as "chronically underperforming" upon the expiration of the receivership, and specifies that based on the review the board shall adopt regulations providing for the following (Sec. 3):
        -Removal of the classification of the district as "chronically underperforming"; and
        -Transfer the operation of the district from an external receiver to the superintendent and school committee if the district is currently operated by an external receiver and remains "chronically underperforming."

-Authorizes advisory boards of trusees to establish Innovation Schools, operating within a public school district, in which an "innovation plan" shall be developed by the faculty and leadership of the school or an external partner or partners with the same measurable annual goals as the plans for schools designated as "underperforming" or "chronically underperforming," and shall provide for increased autonomy and flexibility in 1 or more of the following areas (Sec. 7):
        -Curriculum;
        -Budget;
        -School schedule and calendar;
        -Staffing policies and procedures;
        -School district policies and procedures; and
        -Professional development.

-Requires the superintendent to have the school committee and Commissioner annually review the performance of Innovation Schools to determine if the annual goals of the innovation plan are being met, and authorizes the school committee to do 1 of the following based on the advice of the superintendent (Sec. 7):
        -Limit 1 or more component of the innovation plan;
        -Suspend 1 or more components of the innovation plan; or
        -Terminate the authorization of the school.

-Limits the authorization of an Innovation School to no more than 5 years, and authorizes the school committee to extend authorization for additional periods of up to 5 years at the end of the previous authorization period, provided a majority of the board voted to extend the authorization and at least 1 stakeholder group was convened (Sec. 7).

-The bill number was S 2201 when introduced in the Senate, S 2205 after it was reported from the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, S 2216 after Senate amendments were adopted and submitted to the House, and S 2247 after it was reported from Conference Committee.

 

Legislation - Conference Report Adopted (Senate) (23-12) - (Key vote)

Title: Education Law Amendments

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to adopt a conference report that amends state education law, including, but not limited to, authorizing additional charter schools beyond the current statewide cap, authorizing the establishment of Innovation Schools, and authorizing the classification of "underperforming" and "chronically underperforming" schools and school districts, which requires the establishment of an "turnaround plan."

Highlights:

-Authorizes school districts to do the following if, based on student performance data, the district is in the lowest 10 percent of all statewide student performance scores released in the 2 consecutive school years before the date that a charter school application is submitted (Sec. 7):
        -Increase the district's total charter school tuition payment beyond the current 9 percent, provided the spending does not exceed 18 percent of net school spending; and
        -Establish additional charter schools beyond the current statewide cap of 120.

-Requires any additional charter schools established according to the aforementioned guidelines to have a record of having operated at least 1 school or similar program that demonstrates "academic success and organizational viability" and serves student populations similar to those that the proposed charter school seeks to serve, from the following categories of students (Sec. 7):
        -Students eligible for free or reduced price lunch;
        -Special education students;
        -Limited English-proficient students;
        -Sub-proficient students, meaning those who scored in the "needs improvement," "warning, "or "failing" categories on the mathematics or English language arts exam of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System examines for 2 of the past 3 years, or as defined by the Department of Education using a similar measure;
        -Students who have dropped out or are designated as at risk of dropping out of school based on predictors established by the Department of Education; or
        -Other "at-risk" students who should be targeted to eliminate achievement gaps amoung different groups of students.

-Authorizes the Commissioner of Education and Secondary Education to classify a school, other than a Horace Mann charter school, as "underperforming" or "chronically underperforming" based on the following (Sec. 3):
        -Student performance data collected by the Board of Education;
        -School or district review performed on behalf of the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability; or
        -Regulations adopted by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

-Specifies that schools scoring in the lowest 20 percent statewide among schools serving common grade levels on a single measure developed by the Department of Education and Secondary Education are eligible for designation as "underperforming" or "chronically underperforming," provided that such measure takes into account student performance data and, beginning July 1, 2011, improvement in student academic performance (Sec. 3).

-Limits the classification of "underperforming" and "chronically underperforming" to no more than 4 percent of schools in Massachusetts at any given time (Sec. 3).

-Specifies that schools districts in the lowest 10 percent statewide when compared to other districts of the same grade levels based on a single measure developed by the Department of Education and Secondary Education are eligible for designation as "chronically underperforming," provided that such measure takes into account student performance data and, beginning July 1, 2011, improvement in student academic performance (Sec. 3).

-Limits the classification of "chronically underperforming" to no more than 2.5 percent of school districts in Massachusetts at any given time (Sec. 3).

-Requires the appointment of a receiver for a school district classified as "chronically underperforming" with all the powers of a superintendent and school committee (Sec. 3).

-Requires the establishment of an "turnaround plan" for schools and school districts classified as "underperforming" or "chronically underperforming" that shall be authorized for a period of up to 3 years, and specifies that the plan will be estblished by the following (Sec. 3):
        -Superintendent for schools classified as "underperforming";
        -Commissioner for schools classified as "chronically underperforming"; and
        -Commissioner and receiver for school districts classified as "chronically underperforming."

-Requires superintendents or the Commissioner to convene a local stakeholder group for the purpose of soliciting suggestions for the "turnaround plan" for a school or district, consisting of no more than 13 members, including the following (Sec. 3):
        -Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee, if the plan is being established by the superintendent ("underperforming" schools);
        -Superintendent or the superintendent's designee, if the plan is being established by the Commissioner ("chronically underperforming" schools or school districts);
        -Chair of the School Committee, or the Chair's designee;
        -President of the local teacher's union, or the President's designee;
        -Administrator from the school selected by the superintendent, including, but not limited to, the school principal;
        -Teacher from the school selected by the faculty;
        -Parent from the school selected by the local parent organization or superintendent if no such organization exists, or multiple parents if it's for a school district classified as "chronically underperforming";
        -Representatives of applicable state and local social service, health, and child welfare agencies, selected by the superintendent;
        -Representatives of state and local workforce development agencies, selected by the superintendent;
        -Representative of an early education and care provider chosen by the Commissioner of the Department of Early Education and Care, if the plan is for an elementary school;
        -Representative of the higher education community selected by the Secretary of the Department of Early Education and Care, if the plan is for a middle school or high school; and
        -Member of the community appointed by the chief executive of the city or town.

-Requires the "turnaround plan" for schools and school districts classified as either "underperforming" or "chronically underperforming" to including the following (Sec. 3):
        -Steps to address social service and health needs of students and their families, including mental health and substance abuse screenings;
        -Steps to address improving or expanding child welfare services and law enforcement services;
        -Steps to address improving workforce development services provided to students and their families;
        -Steps to address achievement gaps for those with limited English proficiency, students enrolled in special education, and low income students;
        -Alternative English language learning programs for limited English proficient students; and
        -Budget for the school.

-Requires the "turnaround plan" for schools and school districts classified as either "underperforming" or "chronically underperforming" to include measurable annual goals in the following areas (Sec. 3):
        -Student attendance and dismissal rates;
        -Student safety and discipline;
        -Student promotion and graduation;
        -Student achievement on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System;
        -Progress in areas of "academic underperformance";
        -Progress among subgroups of students, including low-income, limited English-proficient, and special education students;
        -Reduction of achievement gaps among different groups of students;
        -Student acquisition and mastery of contemporary skills;
        -Development of college readiness;
        -Building a "culture of academic success" and a "culture of student support and success";
        -Parent and family engagement; and
        -Developmentally appropriate child assessments from pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade, if applicable.

-Authorizes superintendents and the Commissioner to institute various changes when establishing the "turnaround plan" for schools and school districts classified as "underperforming" or "chronically underperforming," after considering the recommendations of the group of stakeholders, including, but not limited to, the following (Sec. 3):
        -Require the principle, administrator, and teachers to reapply for their positions, provided the superintendent has consulted applicable unions and does not dismiss or fail to rehire a teacher with out "good cause";
        -Limit, suspend, or change 1 or more provisions of any contract or collective bargaining agreement, provided the compensation of an administrator, teacher, or staff member is not reduced without proportionately reducing their hours;
        -Expand, alter, or replace the curriculum of the school or district;
        -Reallocate the funds of the existing budget of the school or district;
        -Provide additional funds to the school from the district's budget if the school does not receive funding from the district at levels equal to the average per pupil funding received for students of the same classification and grade level in the district (this does not apply to school districts being classified as "chronically underperforming");
        -Provide funds, subject to appropriation, to increase the salary of administrators or teachers;
        -Expand the school day or school year;
        -For elementary schools, add pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten classes; and
        -Limit, suspend, or change 1 or more school district policies.

-Requires superintendents and the Commissioner to annually review the performance of schools or districts classified as "underperforming" or "chronically underperforming" respectively to determine if the annual goals of the "turnaround plan" are being met (Sec. 3).

-Authorizes superintendents and the Commissioner to modify an "turnaround plan" for schools or districts classified as "underperforming" or "chronically underperforming" if it is determined that 1 or more goals in the "turnaround plan" have not been met (Sec. 3).

-Requires the Commissioner to conduct a review of a school classified as "underperforming" upon the expiration of an "turnaround plan" in which the Commissioner shall determine 1 of the following (Sec. 3):
        -The school has improved sufficiently for the designation of the school as underperforming to be removed;
        -The school has improved, but the school remains underperforming, in which case the superintendent may, with approval of the commissioner, renew the plan or establish a new modified play for another period of up to 3 years; or
        -The school is still chronically underperforming, in which case a "turnaround plan" is required according to the provisions of this Act.

-Requires the Commissioner to conduct a review of a school classified as "chronically underperforming" upon the expiration of an "turnaround plan" in which the Commissioner is authorized to do 1 of the following (Sec. 3):
        -Renew the innovation plan for another period of up to 3 years;
        -Appoint an external receiver to operate the school if the school remains "chronically underperforming";
        -Transfer the operation of a school from an external receiver to the superintendent or another external receiver if the school is currently operated by an external receiver and remains "chronically underperforming"; or
        -Remove the designation of "chronically underperforming" if the Commissioner determines that the school has improved sufficiently.

-Requires the school board to conduct a review of a school district classified as "chronically underperforming" upon the expiration of the receivership, and specifies that based on the review the board shall adopt regulations providing for the following (Sec. 3):
        -Removal of the classification of the district as "chronically underperforming"; and
        -Transfer the operation of the district from an external receiver to the superintendent and school committee if the district is currently operated by an external receiver and remains "chronically underperforming."

-Authorizes advisory boards of trusees to establish Innovation Schools, operating within a public school district, in which an "innovation plan" shall be developed by the faculty and leadership of the school or an external partner or partners with the same measurable annual goals as the plans for schools designated as "underperforming" or "chronically underperforming," and shall provide for increased autonomy and flexibility in 1 or more of the following areas (Sec. 7):
        -Curriculum;
        -Budget;
        -School schedule and calendar;
        -Staffing policies and procedures;
        -School district policies and procedures; and
        -Professional development.

-Requires the superintendent to have the school committee and Commissioner annually review the performance of Innovation Schools to determine if the annual goals of the innovation plan are being met, and authorizes the school committee to do 1 of the following based on the advice of the superintendent (Sec. 7):
        -Limit 1 or more component of the innovation plan;
        -Suspend 1 or more components of the innovation plan; or
        -Terminate the authorization of the school.

-Limits the authorization of an Innovation School to no more than 5 years, and authorizes the school committee to extend authorization for additional periods of up to 5 years at the end of the previous authorization period, provided a majority of the board voted to extend the authorization and at least 1 stakeholder group was convened (Sec. 7).

-The bill number was S 2201 when introduced in the Senate, S 2205 after it was reported from the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, S 2216 after Senate amendments were adopted and submitted to the House, and S 2247 after it was reported from Conference Committee.

 

Legislation - Nonconcurrence Vote Passed (Senate) -
Legislation - Bill Passed With Amendment (House) (119-35) -
Legislation - Bill Passed (Senate) (28-11) -
Legislation - Introduced (Senate) -

Title: Education Law Amendments

Committee Sponsors