SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1762        FILED ON: 1/16/2015

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 268


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Sal N. DiDomenico


To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:

The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act for universal early education and full-day kindergarten.







Sal N. DiDomenico

Middlesex and Suffolk


Denise Provost

27th Middlesex


Jason M. Lewis

Fifth Middlesex


Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr.

12th Hampden


Joseph W. McGonagle, Jr.

28th Middlesex


Lori A. Ehrlich

8th Essex


Michael F. Rush

Norfolk and Suffolk


Colleen M. Garry

36th Middlesex


Kenneth J. Donnelly

Fourth Middlesex


Barbara A. L'Italien

Second Essex and Middlesex


Jose F. Tosado

9th Hampden


David Paul Linsky

5th Middlesex


Mary S. Keefe

15th Worcester


James J. O'Day

14th Worcester


Ruth B. Balser

12th Middlesex


Carmine L. Gentile

13th Middlesex


James M. Cantwell

4th Plymouth


Benjamin Swan

11th Hampden


Brendan P. Crighton

11th Essex


James J. Dwyer

30th Middlesex


James B. Eldridge

Middlesex and Worcester


Patricia D. Jehlen

Second Middlesex


Danielle W. Gregoire

4th Middlesex


Michelle M. DuBois

10th Plymouth


Paul W. Mark

2nd Berkshire


John F. Keenan

Norfolk and Plymouth


Michael D. Brady

Second Plymouth and Bristol


Edward F. Coppinger

10th Suffolk


Anne M. Gobi

Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex


Thomas M. McGee

Third Essex


Daniel M. Donahue

16th Worcester


James T. Welch



Thomas M. Stanley

9th Middlesex


Frank I. Smizik

15th Norfolk


Kenneth I. Gordon

21st Middlesex


Jonathan Hecht

29th Middlesex


James R. Miceli

19th Middlesex


Steven Ultrino

33rd Middlesex


Claire D. Cronin

11th Plymouth


Jennifer E. Benson

37th Middlesex


Tricia Farley-Bouvier

3rd Berkshire


Paul McMurtry

11th Norfolk


Chris Walsh

6th Middlesex


Timothy J. Toomey, Jr.

26th Middlesex


Antonio F. D. Cabral

13th Bristol


Daniel Cullinane

12th Suffolk


William Smitty Pignatelli

4th Berkshire


Marc R. Pacheco

First Plymouth and Bristol


Kay Khan

11th Middlesex


Paul Brodeur

32nd Middlesex


Anthony W. Petruccelli

First Suffolk and Middlesex


Gailanne M. Cariddi

1st Berkshire


Cynthia S. Creem

First Middlesex and Norfolk


Mark C. Montigny

Second Bristol and Plymouth


Benjamin B. Downing

Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden


Eric P. Lesser

First Hampden and Hampshire


SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1762        FILED ON: 1/16/2015

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 268

By Mr. DiDomenico, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 268) of Sal N. DiDomenico, Denise Provost, Jason M. Lewis, Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr. and other members of the General Court for legislation relative to universal early education and full-day kindergarten.  Education.


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the One Hundred and Eighty-Ninth General Court



An Act for universal early education and full-day kindergarten.


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.  Section 13 of Chapter 15D of the general laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official edition, is hereby amended by striking subsections (a) and (b) and inserting in place thereof the following: -

Section 13. (a) The board shall, subject to appropriation, establish the Massachusetts universal pre-kindergarten program to assist in providing voluntary, universally accessible, high-quality early education and care programs and services for preschool-aged children in the commonwealth. Provided, however, that the board shall establish a universal program for all three and four year olds in the Commonwealth which shall be available free to all residents, available for up to ten hours daily, up to five days a week, and throughout the year;  and, provided further, that the board shall determine a schedule for the universal program for three and four year olds to be fully established and fully funded no later than September first, 2020; and, provided further, that the board shall begin the program in districts where at least fifty percent of the students are classified as low-come.

The program shall be designed to meet and enhance the preschool-aged child’s ability to make age appropriate progress in the development of cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional and physical capacities and school readiness based on curriculum frameworks, after consultation with representatives of early childhood educators and their professional associations, including the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the American Federation of Teachers-Massachusetts and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

(b) The Massachusetts universal pre-kindergarten program shall be delivered through a mixed system of providers and programs.

The board shall ensure that, by 2020, all teachers in the programs established under this section shall be licensed; provided, further, that the board shall establish a grant program to provide funding for teachers to pay for courses and other costs associated with obtaining a license under this section. 

Programs shall be sufficiently flexible to serve families with various work schedules. The department shall develop a method for funding the program, which may provide grants, or enter into contracts with any provider of early education and care, or entities coordinating or administering plans to provide high-quality, comprehensive services to children and their families within the local community. These providers may include, but are not limited to: public; private; non-profit preschools; child care centers; nursery schools; preschools operating within public and private schools; Head Start programs; independent and system-affiliated family child care homes; and local early education and care councils; provided, however, that for profit preschools or other for profit entities will not be eligible as authorized providers under this section The department may provide vouchers to eligible households for the purpose of implementing the early education and care program. All providers shall demonstrate that they are willing and able to serve and integrate children of diverse abilities and special needs, diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds and diverse economic circumstances.

SECTION 2.  Section 1B of chapter 69 of the general laws, as appearing in the 2012 official edition, is hereby amended by striking the words contained in paragraph 20, and inserting in place thereof the following:-

The board shall establish the permissible and mandatory ages for school attendance provided that each child be required to attend a full-day educational program at the beginning of the school year in the calendar year in which he or she attains the age of five.