Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the department of elementary and secondary education shall conduct a study to evaluate the availability of high quality, chapter 74-approved vocational education programs in all regions of the Commonwealth. The study shall include, but not be limited to: (1) whether students in all municipalities and school districts have reasonable access to vocational programs; (2) whether students in all municipalities have access to adequate transportation to vocational education programs; (3) whether regional and in-district vocational education programs have access to acceptable equipment; (4) whether regional and in-district regional vocational education programs have adequate oversight and accountability measures in place; and (5) whether regions with a strong presence of a certain industry have adequate vocational education programs relating to said industry.
If the department determines that access to, or oversight of, vocational education is inadequate, the department, in consultation with the Massachusetts school building authority, shall submit a report to the clerks of the house and senate detailing the areas in which access is inadequate and an estimate of the cost of establishing new vocational programs to meet the unmet demand.
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