SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, there shall be a commission on school segregation in the commonwealth. The commission shall consist of 20 members: the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on education, or their designees, who shall serve as the co-chairs of the commission; the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on housing, or their designees; 2 of whom shall be appointed by the governor, one of whom shall be a teacher and one of whom shall be an alumnus of the METCO program; 1 of whom shall be chosen by the chair of the Black & Latino Legislative Caucus; 1 of whom shall be a superintendent chosen by the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents; 1 of whom shall be a school committee member chosen by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees; 1 of whom shall be chosen by the Bridges Collaborative at the Century Foundation; 1 of whom shall be chosen by the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education; 1 of whom shall be chosen by Policy for Progress; 1 of whom shall be chosen by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council; 1 of whom shall be chosen by the Smart Growth Alliance; 1 of whom shall be a parent chosen by Massachusetts Parent United; 1 of whom shall be chosen by the Urban League of Springfield; 1 of whom shall be chosen by the Boston Branch of the NAACP; 1 of whom shall be chosen by Latinos for Education; 1 of whom shall be chosen by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights; and 1 of whom shall be chosen by the Education Trust.
The commission shall: (i) assess the current state and historical trends of school segregation in Massachusetts, both within districts and across district boundaries, (ii) identify current and historical programs the Commonwealth or individual districts have used to increase school integration, (iii) identify successful efforts to increase school integration in other states, (iv) identify laws, regulations, and administrative directives that hinder the ability of the state or individual districts to pursue school integration, (v) develop recommended policy changes to advance the goal of school integration in the Commonwealth. In developing its recommendations, the commission shall consider the impact of such recommendations on educational equity and prioritize proposals that expand educational opportunities in historically disadvantaged communities.
The commission shall consult with and solicit input from various persons and groups, including, but not limited to: (i) the department of elementary and secondary education; (ii) the executive office of housing and economic development; (iii) the student advisory council; (iv) any other parties or entities the commission deems appropriate.
The first meeting of the commission shall take place within 60 days of the effective date of this act. The commission shall file a report containing its findings and recommendations, including legislative recommendations, if any, with the clerks of the house and senate not later than 12 months following the first meeting of the commission. Prior to issuing its recommendations, the commission shall conduct at least five public hearings to receive testimony from members of the public, at least one of which shall take place in Boston, at least one of which shall take place in Worcester, and one of which shall take place in Springfield.
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