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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1623         FILED ON: 1/18/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 283

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

James T. Welch

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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 interagency collaboration for dropout prevention.

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

James T. Welch

Hampden

Michael R. Knapik

Second Hampden and Hampshire


SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1623        FILED ON: 1/18/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 283

By Mr. Welch, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 283) of James T. Welch and Michael R. Knapik for legislation relative to interagency collaboration for dropout prevention.  Education. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

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In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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An Act relative to interagency collaboration for dropout prevention.
 

              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 is hereby amended by inserting after section 36, the following section:

              Section 37:

              Section 1. Purpose

              (1)              To unite state agencies and offices with community-based organizations and parents to develop and execute a comprehensive plan to systematically prevent dropouts in school districts with 1,000 or more students and dropout rates higher than twice that of the state average.

              Section 2. Definitions

              (1)              “At risk youth” when used with respect to a child, youth, or student, means a school aged individual who meets one or more of the following requirements:

              (a)              is at-risk of academic failure;

              (b)              has come into contact with the juvenile justice system;

              (c)              has come into contact with the Department of Children and Families;

              (d)              has dropped out of school in the past;

              (e)              has a high rate of absenteeism, which shall be defined by the Council and the definition shall include out-of-school suspensions;

              (f)              or any other indicators that the Council deems appropriate

              (2)              “Council” means the state interagency council established under c. 69 §37-4

              (3)              “District interagency council” means the councils established under c. 69 §37-5

              (4)              “Individualized plan” means a plan for support and/or services created by a collaboration of state agencies, the community, and parents to assist in preventing an at risk youth from dropping out of school that is unique to a particular at risk youth

              Section 3. STATE INTERAGENCY COUNCIL—COMPOSITION AND DUTIES

              (1)(a) 60 days from the passage of this chapter, a council shall be convened

              (b) There is created within state government an interagency Council (hereafter, the Council) composed of:

              (i)              the Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education or a designee

              (ii)              the Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families or a designee

              (iii)              the Secretary of Health and Human Services or a designee

              (iv)              the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health or a designee

              (v)              the Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services or a designee

              (vi)              the Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development or a designee

              (vii)              a representative from the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee appointed by the Secretary of Public               Safety and Security

              (viii)              a representative from the Office of Special Education Planning & Policy appointed by the Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

              (ix)              the president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association or a designee

              (iix)         the president of the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts or a designee

              (iiix)        the executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents or a designee

              (xiv)        the executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees or a designee

              (c) The Council members listed in subsection (1)(b)(i) through (xiv) of this section shall appoint to a 3 year term the following members

              (x)              a representative of community-based service organizations

              (xi)              a parent representative from an urban community, as recommended to the Council by the Massachusetts               Parent Teacher Association

              (xii)              a parent representative from a suburban community, as recommended to the Council by the Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association

              (xiii)              a parent representative from a rural community, as recommended to the Council by the Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association

              (2)              (a) The Council shall annually elect a chair from its membership

              (b) Two thirds members of the Council are necessary to constitute a quorum at any meeting

              (c) The Council shall meet quarterly or more frequently as determined by the chair

              (3)              (a) No member of the Council shall receive additional compensation for participation on the Council, meaning:

              (i)              participation on the Council shall be considered an employment duty of those representatives of state agencies

              (ii)              participation on the Council by individuals who are not government employees shall be considered a pro bono service

              (4)              The Council shall:

              (a)              provide leadership to increase the efficacy of services delivered to at risk youth in the districts identified in section 1

              (b)              create a comprehensive plan for early intervention for at risk youth enrolled in the districts identified in section 1 by:

              (i)              developing a model process by which individual at risk youths are identified beginning in the third grade

              (ii)              developing a model process for the creation and implementation of individualized plans for at risk youth

              (iii)              monitoring and evaluating the creation and implementation of individualized plans specified in subsection (4)(b)(ii) of this section

              (iv)              developing strategies to increase parental involvement in both the creation and execution of individualized plans specified in subsections (4)(b)(ii) and (iii) of this section

              (c)              assist the districts identified in section 1 in establishing district interagency councils to carry out the comprehensive plan

              (d)              develop administrative and governing structures for the operation of district interagency councils

              (e)              ensure equity in the scope, duration, level, and type of services across the identified districts

              (f)              recommend legislative, executive, and judicial policy and procedural changes

              Section 4. DISTRICT INTERAGENCY COUNCILS—COMPOSITION AND DUTIES

              (1)              School districts shall establish interagency councils to carry out the comprehensive plan developed by the Council for early intervention for at risk youth

              (a)              Each district interagency council shall consist of the Superintendent of the district and a local representative from each the following agencies and groups serving the school district, children and at risk youth, and their families

              (i)              the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, appointed by the Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

              (ii)              the Department of Children and Families, appointed by the Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families

              (iii)              the Department of Health and Human Services, appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services

              (iv)              the Department of Mental Health, appointed by the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health

              (v)              the Department of Youth Services, appointed by the Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services

              (vi)              Labor & Workforce Development, appointed by Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development

              (vii)              a district teacher, appointed by the collective bargaining unit representing teachers in the district

              (viii)              a district special education teacher, appointed by the collective bargaining unit representing teachers in the district

              (b)              The members of the district interagency council specified in subsections (a)(i) through (viii) of this section shall select 3 parents who have children presently enrolled in the school district to serve on the district interagency council

              (2)              The district interagency council members shall

              (a)              serve 3 year terms

              (b)              identify at risk students pursuant to the process specified in section 3, subsection (4)(b)(i) prior to the beginning of the school year

              (c)              develop an individualized plan for each at risk youth identified by the process specified in section 3, subsection (4)(b)(i)

              (d)              provide services to meet the needs of individual at risk youths and their families according to the development of the individualized plan specified in subsection (2)(c) of this section

              (e)              establish and implement a case management system of the individualized plans

              (f)              establish and implement a method by which to involve parents of the at risk youth in the individualized plan

              (g)              provide staff for the implementation of individual plans requiring services from two or more agencies

              Section 5. EVALUATION OF PROGRAMS—REPORT TO LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEES

              (1)              At the end of each fiscal year, each district interagency council shall submit a report to the Council detailing the results of the plans and programs implemented under this chapter.

              (2)              Within 90 days of receipt of the report specified in subsection 1 of this section, the Council shall conduct an independent review of each district interagency council to evaluate the results of the plans and programs implemented under this section

              (3)              (a) The Council shall submit a report on the independent review by the end of the calendar year, detailing the results of the plans and programs implemented under this chapter to the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities and Joint Committee on Education.

              (b) The report shall include a recommendation to the Legislature as to whether the programs ought to be modified or expanded

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