HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2306        FILED ON: 1/14/2009

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 514



The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the Year Two Thousand Nine



An Act to Create 21st Century Classrooms..


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. There is hereby established on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the Commonwealth 21st Century Classroom Fund, hereinafter referred to as the fund. Notwithstanding any special law or rule to the contrary, not less than 20 percent of eligible education technology funding from the federal recovery act, so called, shall be deposited in the fund.  The state treasurer shall hold amounts in the fund as trustee for the purposes set forth in this section and shall disburse funds from time to time at the request of the secretary of education, hereinafter referred as the secretary.

SECTION 2. The fund shall consist of certain funds dedicated in section 1 and by other sources to increase student achievement through the use of instructional technology in the classroom.

SECTION 3. The fund must be used to create 21st century classrooms that enable the full integration of appropriate learning technologies into teaching and learning for the State's elementary and secondary school students. The fund must be managed and governed in a manner that provides for the financially sustainable support, use and integration of learning technology in Massachusetts schools as determined by the Legislature.

SECTION 4. The use of the funds must be based on a state learning technology plan developed annually by the secretary. The annual learning technology plan must be designed to achieve the goals of preparing students for a future economy that will rely heavily on technology and innovation, transforming Massachusetts into the premier state for utilizing learning technology in public education.

The plan recommended annually by the secretary and the Advisory Board for the 21st  Century Classroom Fund shall include, but is not limited to the following:

The appropriate structure, governance and oversight of the fund;

The current use of learning technology in classrooms in the State;

The current readiness of faculty to teach using technology;

The professional development needed to integrate technology into classroom teaching;

Assessment of the strategy and goals for improving and equalizing access to and the use of learning technology in all schools;

Strategies that coordinate public education learning technology with initiatives and resources of Massachusetts postsecondary education institutions;

Data tracking and assessment of the progress of implementing the goals of the fund and the learning technology plan.

SECTION 5. Prior to December 15th of each year, the secretary shall provide to the Governor, the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means and the Joint Committee on Education, a recommended funding level for implementing the annual learning technology plan within the framework of section 2 of Chapter 70 of the general laws as amended by this act.

SECTION 6.  An Advisory Board for the 21st Century Classroom Fund is hereby established to advise the secretary and the Legislature on matters related to the development of policies for the effective acquisition and use of learning technology.

In the appointment of public members to the advisory board the Governor, President of the Senate and Speaker of the House shall give proper consideration to members with experience or special knowledge in one or more of the following areas: education, business or economic development, technology, finance, library services and postsecondary education; and to achieving statewide geographical representation, cultural equity and gender equity. The Governor, Senate President and Speaker of the House shall appoint the advisory board consisting of 6 voting members as follows:

Four public members, 2 of whom shall be appointed by the Governor, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the Senate President and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House;

One member who is a member of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, appointed by the chairperson of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education;

One member representing public postsecondary educational institutions in the State who is employed by a public postsecondary educational institution in the State, appointed by the Governor;

The advisory board shall choose annually one of its members to serve as chair.

In appointing the initial public members to the advisory board, the Governor, President of Senate and Speaker of the House shall give proper consideration to the report of the Special Commission on Educational Technology, pursuant to Chapter 300 of the Act of 2002, so that there may be continuity of policy development.

The advisory board shall meet at least three times each year.

Each member of the advisory board is entitled to one vote. A majority of voting members of the advisory board constitutes a quorum for the transaction of any official business.

The terms of the members of the advisory board are for 3 years.

In the case that a member leaves the advisory board, the respective appointing authority shall appoint a new member to serve out the remainder of the term.

The secretary shall provide appropriate staff support to the advisory board.

SECTION 7. The powers and duties of the advisory board include the following:

The Advisory Board shall advise the secretary in developing an annual learning technology plan, which shall provide the basis for annual allocation of funds by the Legislature from the fund.

To measure the effectiveness of the learning technology plan, the advisory board may establish standards and methods of measuring progress in the levels of academic achievement for students who participate in the learning technology plan. The advisory board may also establish standards and methods of measuring progress in the professional development of teachers who participate in the learning technology program, as well as the impact of the learning technology plan on parents, lifelong learners and the economic impact on communities across the State. The advisory board may assess the impacts of the learning technology plan according to these standards and measurements.

As part of its assessment role, the advisory board may also consider relevant strategic issues necessary to develop, maintain and support the achievement of the goals of the learning technology plan.