HOUSE DOCKET, NO. FILED ON: 10/20/2011
HOUSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 3803
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
In the Year Two Thousand Eleven
AN ACT TO IMPROVE THE EDUCATIONAL REWARDS GRANT PROGRAM TO ASSIST LOW INCOME WORKERS.
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. To provide for certain unanticipated obligations of the commonwealth, to provide for an alteration of purpose for current appropriations, and to meet certain requirements of law, the sum set forth in this section is hereby appropriated from the General Fund unless specifically designated otherwise in this section, for the several purposes and subject to the conditions specified in this section, and subject to the laws regulating the disbursement of public funds for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012. This sum shall be in addition to any amounts previously appropriated and made available for the purposes of this item.
XXXX – XXXX For the Education Rewards Grant Program Fund established by section 2SSS of chapter 29 of the General Laws ………. ………………………………..$1,500,000
SECTION 2. Section 2SSS of chapter 29 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the penultimate sentence, in lines 23-25, and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- The amount of the award shall be applied towards student financial need in excess of the financial need met by other federal, state or private grants without regard to the amount that may be available through loans.
SECTION 3. (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a portion of the Educational Rewards Grant Program Fund established by section 2SSS of chapter 29 of the General Laws, as determined by the department of workforce development and the board of higher education, shall be used for a “Supports for Success” pilot program to assist grant recipients complete their degree or certificate programs; provided, that supports provided through said pilot may include, but need not be limited to, intensive advising and counseling, college and career success courses, work study jobs in the students’ field of study, learning communities, curricula redesign to support blended or accelerated remediation, mentoring or tutoring, and child care and transportation assistance.
(b) On or before December 1 of each year, the department of workforce development and the board of higher education shall submit to the chairs of house and senate committees on ways and means and the chairs of the joint committee on higher education a report on use in the prior fiscal year of the Educational Rewards Grant Program Fund established by section 2SSS of chapter 29 of the General Laws; provided, that such report shall include, but need not be limited to, the number of grants awarded, the amount of each grant, the level of educational attainment of grant recipients before the grant was awarded, degrees and certificates awarded to recipients, recipient demographic information, recipient retention rates while receiving the grant, and analysis of the strengths and areas of needed improvement in the Educational Rewards Grant Program and the “Supports for Success” pilot program and recommendations for such improvements.