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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2236         FILED ON: 1/20/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1962

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Martha M. Walz

_______________

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 relative to safe and supportive schools.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Martha M. Walz

8th Suffolk

Geraldo Alicea

6th Worcester

Sal N. DiDomenico

Middlesex, Suffolk, and Essex

Jennifer L. Flanagan

 

Linda Dorcena Forry

12th Suffolk

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Benjamin Swan

11th Hampden

Alice K. Wolf

25th Middlesex


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2236        FILED ON: 1/20/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1962

By Ms. Walz of Boston, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 1962) of Martha M. Walz and others for legislation to ensure behavioral health and safety in the public schools.  Education. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Eleven

_______________

 

An Act relative to safe and supportive schools.
 

              Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to create safe and supportive school environments , therefore, it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
 

              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. Chapter 69 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding after section 1N the following section:-

              Section 1O. (a) The department of elementary and secondary education shall, in consultation with the advisory commission established pursuant to this section, maintain and update, when necessary, the behavioral health and public schools framework developed by the task force on behavioral health and public schools pursuant to section 19 of chapter 321 of the Acts of 2008.

              The department shall: (i) provide technical assistance on using the assessment tool developed pursuant to section 19 of chapter 321 of the Acts of 2008 to measure the capacity of schools to address children’s behavioral health needs, collaborate with behavioral health services and provide supportive school environments; (ii) publish guidelines for implementing the behavioral health and public schools framework in schools; and (iii) establish a grant program, subject to appropriation, to test and develop an effective process for school districts to implement the behavioral health and public schools framework as set forth in this section. The program shall require the first cohorts of schools implementing the framework to participate as members of the advisory commission established pursuant to this section.  

              (b) There shall be an advisory commission to examine and make recommendations relative to the statewide implementation of the behavioral health and public schools framework. The commission shall consist of the secretary of education or his designee and the commissioner of elementary and secondary education or his designee, who shall serve as co-chairs of the commission; a parent of a child with behavioral health challenges; a regular education teacher; a special education teacher; an early childhood education teacher; a post-secondary education teacher; a school nurse; a  member of the board of elementary and secondary education; a representative from the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents; a representative from the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators’ Association; a representative from the Massachusetts Administrators for Special Education; a representative from the Massachusetts Teachers Association; and 3 representatives from community-based behavioral health providers, 1 of whom works with schools, 1 of whom works with parents of children with behavioral health needs, and 1 of whom has expertise in the behavioral health effects of trauma.

             

              The commission shall, on the basis of one or more findings and recommendations included in the reports submitted by the behavioral health and public schools task force in accordance with section 19 of chapter 321 of the Acts of 2008,  make recommendations relative to the statewide implementation of the framework, including the specific timelines and resources necessary for such implementation, and to address critical issues, such as: (i) consistent access to culturally and linguistically appropriate services; (ii) the development of data systems to measure outcomes of school success; (iii) professional development for all staff; and (iv) best practices for collaboration with parents of children with behavioral health needs. The commission shall have access to data which shall be maintained by the department to oversee and evaluate the outcomes resulting from the implementation of the framework, and shall have authority to convene stakeholders to facilitate solutions to challenges as they arise in the implementation process.

             

              The commission shall issue a final report containing recommendations on or before June 30, 2012.  The commission shall report to the general court its recommendations, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry out such recommendations, if any, by filing the same with the clerks of the senate and the house of representatives who shall forward the same to the chairs of the joint committee on education on or before June 30, 2012.

              SECTION 2. Section 59C of chapter 71 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the first sentence in the fifth paragraph, in line 48, the following sentence:- Said plan shall contain the school’s planned actions for implementing the behavioral health and public schools framework set forth in section 1O of chapter 69 by December 31, 2016.

              SECTION 3. Said section 59C of said chapter 71, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the fifth paragraph the following paragraph:-

              Each school district shall develop a district-wide plan for implementing the behavioral health and public schools framework set forth in section 1O of chapter 69. Said plan shall contain outcome measures and a plan to support the district’s schools to implement the framework as set forth in their school improvement plans.

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