Resolved, There shall be a commission to review the way that regional school districts are funded and recommend a framework that better accounts for differences between the towns that make-up these districts and how the funding is distributed. In conducting the review, the commission shall seek to determine with respect to regional school districts the educational programs and services necessary to achieve the commonwealth's educational goals and to prepare students to achieve passing scores on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System examinations. The review shall include, but not be limited to, those components of the regional school district foundation budget created pursuant to section 3 of chapter 70 and subsequent changes made to the foundation budget by law. In addition, the commission shall seek to determine and recommend measures to promote the adoption of ways in which resources can be most effectively utilized and consider various models of efficient and effective resource allocation. In carrying out the review, the commissioner of elementary and secondary education shall provide to the commission any data and information the commissioner considers relevant to the commission’s charge.
The commission shall include: 1 member who shall be appointed by the senate president, who shall serve as co-chair; 1 member appointed by the minority leader of the senate; 1 member who shall be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, who shall serve as co-chair; 1 member who shall be appointed by the secretary of education; 1 member who shall be appointed by the commissioner elementary and secondary education; and 6 members who shall be appointed by the governor all of whom have experience working with a regional school district, of whom 1 shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Association of Regional Schools, 1 shall be a representative of the Massachusetts School Business Officials, 1 shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, 1 shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents and 1 shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. Members shall not receive compensation for their services but may receive reimbursement for the reasonable expenses incurred in carrying out their responsibilities as members of the commission. The commissioner of elementary and secondary education may furnish reasonable staff and other support for the work of the commission. Before issuing its recommendations, the commission shall conduct not less than 4 public hearings across regions of the commonwealth. It shall not constitute a violation of chapter 268A for a person employed by a school district to serve on the commission or to participate in commission deliberations that may have a financial impact on the district employing that person or on the rate at which that person may be compensated. The commission may establish procedures to ensure that no such person shall participate in commission deliberations that may directly affect the school districts employing those persons or that may directly affect the rate at which those persons are compensated.
The commission shall file its report, together with drafts of any recommended legislation, with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, the senate and house chairs of the joint committee on education and the chairs of the senate and house committees on ways and means not later than July 31, 2018.
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