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The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

__________________

 

IN THE YEAR OF TWO THOUSAND AND TEN

                             __________________

 

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A N A CT RELATIVE TO THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP

 

Whereas , The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to provide forthwith innovation into school districts and turnaround underperforming schools, 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 7 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 22A, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 22A. Notwithstanding any general or special law relating to collective purchasing, but subject  to all other laws regulating public purchases and competitive bidding, the commonwealth and 1 or more of its cities, towns, districts, counties, authorities or commonwealth or Horace Mann charter schools, or 2 or more cities, towns, districts, counties, authorities or commonwealth or Horace Mann charter schools, hereinafter called political subdivisions, may make purchases of materials, supplies, equipment or services through the state purchasing agent subject to such rules, regulations and procedures as may be established from time to time by the purchasing agent; provided, however, that the political subdivision shall accept sole responsibility for any payment due the vendor for its share of such purchase.

SECTION 2. Chapter 40 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 4E, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 4E. Two or more school committees of cities, towns and regional school districts and boards of trustees of charter schools may enter into a written agreement to conduct education programs and services which shall complement and strengthen the school programs of member school committees and charter schools and increase educational opportunities for children. The school committees and boards of trustees of charter schools shall collaborate to offer the programs and services ; provided, however, the association of school committees and board of trustees of charter schools which is formed to deliver the programs and services shall be known as an education collaborative.

              The education collaborative shall be managed by a board of directors which shall be comprised of 1 person appointed by each member school committee and 1 person appointed by each member charter board of trustees. All appointed persons shall be either a school committee member or his designee, the superintendent of schools or his designee or a member of the charter board of trustees. Members of the board of directors shall be entitled to a vote according to the terms of the education collaborative agreement. The department of education shall appoint an individual to serve in an advisory capacity to the education collaborative board of directors . The individual shall not be entitled to vote on any matter which comes before the board of directors of the education collaborative.

The written agreement which shall form the basis of the education collaborative shall set forth the purposes of the program or service, the financial terms and conditions of membership of the education collaborative, the method of termination of the education collaborative and of the withdrawal of member school committees and charter schools , the procedure for admitting new members and for amending the collaborative agreement, the powers and duties of the board of directors of the education collaborative to operate and manage the education collaborative and any other matter not incompatible with law which the member committees and charter schools consider advisable. The agreement shall be subject to the approval of the member school committees and the commissioner of education.

              Each board of directors of an education collaborative shall establish and manage a trust fund, to be known as an Education Collaborative Trust Fund, and each such fund shall be designated by an appropriate name. All monies contributed by the member municipalities and charter schools and all grants or gifts from the federal government, state government, charitable foundations, private corporations or any other source shall be paid to the board of directors of the education collaborative and deposited in the fund.

              The board of directors of the education collaborative shall appoint a treasurer who may be a treasurer of a city, town or regional school district belonging to the collaborative. The treasurer may , subject to the direction of the board of directors of the education collaborative , receive and disburse all monies of the trust fund without further appropriation. The treasurer shall give bond annually for the faithful performance of his duties as collaborative treasurer in a form approved by the department of revenue and in the sum, not less than the amount established by the department, as shall be fixed by the board of directors of the education collaborative. The board of directors of the education collaborative in its discretion may pay compensation to the treasurer for his services. No member of the board of directors of the education collaborative shall be eligible to serve as treasurer of the collaborative.

              The treasurer of the education collaborative board of directors shall have the authority to make appropriate investments of the monies of the Education Collaborative Trust Fund consistent with section 54 of chapter 44.

              The board of directors of an educational collaborative may borrow money, enter into long-term or short-term loan agreements or mortgages and apply for state, federal or corporate grants or contracts to obtain funds necessary to carry out the purpose for which such collaborative is established; provided, however, that the board of directors has determined that any borrowing, loan or mortgage is cost-effective and in the best interest of the collaborative and its member municipalities and charter schools. The borrowing, loans or mortgages shall be consistent with the written agreement and articles of incorporation, if any, of the educational collaborative and shall be consistent with standard lending practices.

              The board of directors of the education collaborative may employ an executive officer who shall serve under the general direction of the board and who shall be responsible for the care and supervision of the education collaborative.

              The board of directors of the education collaborative shall be considered to be a public employer and have the authority to employ personnel, including teachers, to carry out the purposes and functions of the education collaborative. No person shall be eligible for employment by the board of directors as an instructor of children with severe special needs, teacher of children with special needs, teacher, guidance counselor or school psychologist unless the person has been granted a certificate by the board of education under section 38G of chapter 71 or section 6 of chapter 71A or an approval under the regulations promulgated by the board of education under chapter 71B or chapter 74 with respect to the type of position for which he seeks employment; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed to prevent a board of directors of an education collaborative from prescribing additional qualifications. A board of directors of an education collaborative may, upon its request, be exempted by the board of education for any 1 school year from the requirements of this section to employ certified or approved personnel when compliance therewith would in the opinion of the board constitute a great hardship.

              The education collaborative shall be considered to be a public entity and shall have standing to sue and be sued to the same extent as a city, town or regional school district. An education collaborative, acting through its board of directors, may enter into contracts for the purchase of supplies, materials and services and for the purchase or leasing of land, buildings and equipment as considered necessary by the board of directors.

              A school committee of a city, town or regional school district or board of trustees of a charter school may authorize the prepayment of monies for an educational program or service of the education collaborative to the treasurer of an education collaborative , and the city, town or regional school district or charter school treasurer shall be required to approve and pay the monies in accordance with the authorization of the school committee or board of trustees.

SECTION 3 . Chapter 69 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section s 1J and1K ,  as so appearing,  and inserting in place thereof the following 2 section s :-

Section 1J. (a) The commissioner of elementary and secondary education may, on the basis of student performance data collected pursuant to section 1I, a school or district review performed under section 55A of chapter 15, or regulations adopted by the board of elementary and secondary education, designate 1 or more schools in a school district other than a Horace Mann charter school as underperforming or chronically underperforming.  The board shall adopt regulations establishing standards for the commissioner to make such designations on the basis of data collected pursuant to section 1I or information from a school or district review performed under section 55A of chapter 15. Upon the release of the proposed regulations, the board shall file a copy thereof with the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate who shall forward the regulations to the joint committee on education. Within 30 days of the filing, the committee may hold a public hearing and issue a report on the regulations and file the report with the board. The board, pursuant to applicable law, may adopt final regulations making revisions to the proposed regulations as it deems appropriate after consideration of the report and shall forthwith file a copy of the regulations with the chairpersons of the joint committee on education and, not earlier than 30 days of the filing, the board shall file the final regulations with the state secretary. Schools that score in the lowest 20 per cent statewide among schools serving common grade levels on a single measure developed by the department that takes into account student performance data and, beginning on July 1, 2011, improvement in student academic performance, shall be deemed eligible for designation as underperforming or chronically underperforming. Not more than 4 per cent of the total number of public schools may be designated as underperforming or chronically underperforming at any given time. 

              In adopting regulations allowing the commissioner to designate a school as underperforming or chronically underperforming, the board shall ensure that such regulations take into account multiple indicators of school quality in making determinations regarding underperformance or chronic underperformance, such as student attendance , dismissal rates and exclusion rates , promotion rates, graduation rates or the lack of demonstrated significant improvement for 2 or more consecutive years in core academic subjects, either in the aggregate or among subgroups of students, including designations based special education, low-income, English language proficiency and racial classifications.

              Before a school is designated chronically underperforming by the commissioner, a school must be designated underperforming and fail to improve.

              An underperforming or chronically underperforming school described in the following subsections shall operate in accordance with laws regulating other public schools, except as such provisions may conflict with this section or any turnaround plan s created thereunder.  A student who is enrolled in a school at the time it is designated as underperforming or chronically underperforming shall retain the ability to remain enrolled in the school while remaining a resident of the district if the student chooses to do so.

              (b) Upon the designation of a school as an underperforming school in accordance with regulations developed pursuant to this section, the superintendent of the district , with approval by the commissioner , shall create a turnaround plan for the school, under subsections (b) to (e), inclusive. The commissioner may allow for an expedited turnaround plan for schools that have been previously designated as underperforming and where the district has a turnaround plan that has had a public comment period and approval of the local school committee.

              Before the superintendent creates the turnaround plan required in this subsection, the superintendent shall convene a local stakeholder group of not more than 1 3 individuals, for the purpose of soliciting recommendatio ns on the content of such plan to maximize the rapid academic achievement of students at the school.   The superintendent shall provide due consideration to the recommendations of the stakeholder group.   The group shall include: (1) the commissioner, or a designee; (2) the chair of the school committee, or a designee; (3) the president of the local teacher’s union, or a designee; (4) an administrator from the school, who may be the principal, chosen by the superintendent; (5) a teacher from the school chosen by  the faculty of the school; (6) a parent from the school chosen by the local parent organization; (7) representatives of applicable state and local social service, health and child welfare agencies, chosen by the superintendent; (8) as appropriate, representatives of state and local workforce development agencies, chosen by the superintendent ; (9) for elementary schools, a representative of an early education and care provider chosen by the commissioner of the department of early education and care and, for middle schools or high schools, a representative of the higher education community selected by the secretary; and (10) a member of the community appointed by the chief executive of the city or town .  If the school or district does not have a parent organization or if the organization does not select a parent, the superintendent shall select a volunteer parent of a student from the school.  The superintendent shall convene such group within 30 days of the commissioner designating a school as underperforming and the group shall make its recommendations to the superintendent within 45 days of its initial meeting.  Meetings of the local stakeholder group shall be open to the public and the recommendations submitted to the superintendent under this subsection shall be publicly available immediately upon their submission.

              (c)  In creating the turnaround plan in subsection (b) the superintendent shall include, after considering the recommendations of the local stakeholder group,  provisions intended to maximize the rapid academic achievement of students at the school and shall, to the extent practicable, base the plan on student outcome data, including, but not limited to: (1) data collected pursuant to section 1I or information from a school or district review performed under section 55A of chapter 15; (2) student achievement on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System; (3) other measures of student achievement , approved by the commissioner ; (4) student promotion and graduation rates; (5) achievement data for different subgroups of students, including low-income students as defined in chapter 70, limited English-proficient students and students receiving special education; and (6) student attendance , dismissal rates and exclusion rates .

              The superintendent shall also include in the creation of the turnaround plan , after considering the recommendations of the local stakeholder group, the following: (1) steps to address social service and health needs of students at the school and their families, to help students arrive and remain at school ready to learn ; provided, however, that this may include mental health and substance abuse screening ; (2) steps to improve or expand child welfare services and, as appropriate, law enforcement services in the school community, in order to promote a safe and secure learning environment; (3) steps to improve workforce development services provided to students and their families at the school, to provide students and families with meaningful employment skills and opportunities; (4) steps to address achievement gaps for limited English-proficient, special education and low-income students; and ( 5 ) alternative English language learning programs for limited English proficient students, notwithstanding chapter 71A ; and ( 6 ) a financial plan for the school, including any additional funds to be provided by the district, commonwealth, federal government or other sources.    

              The secretaries of health and human services, labor and workforce development, public safety  and other applicable state and local social service, health and child welfare officials shall coordinate with the superintendent regarding the implementation of strategies under clauses (1) to (3), inclusive, of the second paragraph that are included in a final turnaround plan and shall, subject to appropriation, reasonably support such implementation consistent with the requirements of state and federal law applicable to the relevant programs that each such official is responsible for administering.  The secretary of education and the commissioner of elementary and secondary education shall assist the superintendent in facilitating the coordination. 

              T o assess the school across multiple measures of school performance and student success, the turnaround plan shall include measurable annual goals including, but not limited to: (1) student attendance , dismissal rates and exclusion rates ; (2) student safety and discipline; (3) student promotion and graduation and dropout rates ; (4) student achievement on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System; (5) progress in areas of academic underperformance; (6) progress among subgroups of students, including low-income students as defined by chapter 70, limited English-proficient students and students receiving special education; (7) reduction of achievement gaps among different groups of students; (8) student acquisition and mastery of twenty-first century skills; (9) development of college readiness, including at the elementary and middle school levels; (10) parent and family engagement; (11) building a culture of academic success among students; (12) building a culture of student support and success among school faculty and staff and ; (13) developmentally appropriate child assessments from pre-kindergarten through third grade, if applicable.

              (d)  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, in creating the turnaround plan required in subsection (b), the superintendent may, after considering the recommendations of the group of stakeholders: (1) expand, alter or replace the curriculum and program offerings of the school, including the implementation of research-based early literacy programs , early interventions for struggling readers and the teaching of advanced placement courses or other rigorous nationally or internationally recognized courses , if the school does not already have such programs or courses; (2) reallocate the uses of the existing budget of the school; (3) provide additional funds to the school from the budget of the district, if the school does not already receive funding from the district at least equal to the average per pupil funding received for students of the same classification and grade level in the district; (4) provide funds, subject to appropriation and following consultation with applicable local unions, to increase the salary of any administrator , or teacher in the school, to attract or retain highly-qualified administrators, or teachers or to reward administrators, or teachers who work in underperforming schools that achieve the annual goals set forth in the turnaround plan ; (5) expand the school day or school year or both of the school; (6) for an elementary school, add pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten classes, if the school does not already have such classes; (7) following consultation with applicable local unions, require the principal and all administrators,  teachers and staff to reapply for their positions in the school, with full discretion vested in the superintendent  regarding his consideration of and decisions on rehiring based on the reapplications . (8) limit, suspend or change 1 or more provisions of any contract or collective bargaining agreement, as the contract or agreement applies to the school; provided, that the superintendent shall not reduce the compensation of an administrator, teacher or staff member unless the hours of the person are proportionately reduced; ( 9 ) limit, suspend or change 1 or more school district policies or practices , as such policies or practices relate to the school; ( 10 ) include a provision of job-embedded professional development for teachers at the school, with an emphasis on strategies that involve teacher input and feedback; ( 11 ) provide for increased opportunities for teacher planning time and collaboration focused on improving student instruction; ( 12 ) establish a plan for professional development for administrators at the school, with an emphasis on strategies that develop leadership skills and use the principles of distributive leadership; ( 13 ) establish steps to assure a continuum of high-expertise teachers by aligning the following processes with a common core of professional knowledge and skill:   hiring, induction, teacher evaluation, professional development, teacher advancement, school culture and organizational structure;  (1 4 ) develop a strategy to search for and study best practices in areas of demonstrated deficiency in the school; ( 15 ) establish strategies to address mobility and transiency among the student population of the school; and ( 16 ) include additional components based on the reasons why the school was designated as underperforming and the recommendations of the group of stakeholders in subsection (b). 

              If the superinten dent does not approve a reapplication submitted by an employee pursuant to clause (7) for a position in the school or if an employee does no t submit a reapplication for a position in the school, the employee shall retain such rights as may be provided under law or any applicable collective bargaining agreement in relation to the employee’s ability to fill another position in the district; provided , however, that the employee shall not have the right to displace any teacher with professional teacher status in any other school during a school year.

A teacher with professional teacher status in a school declared underperforming or chronically underperforming may be dismissed for good cause; provided, however, that the teacher receives 5 days written notice of the decision to terminate which shall include , without limitation , an explanation of the reason why the superintendent is not retaining the teacher in the school; provided , further, that the teacher may seek review of a termination decision within 5 days after receiving notice of the teacher’s termination by filing a petition for expedited arbitration with the commissioner; provided , further, that except as otherwise provided herein section 42 of chapter 71 shall apply to a petition filed pursuant to this section; provided , further, that the commissioner shall cause an arbitrator to be selected pursuant to the procedures in section 42 of chapter 71 within 3 days of receipt of petition and shall conduct and complete a hearing within 10 days of receipt of the petition; provided , further, that in reviewing dismissal decisions, the arbitrator shall consider the components of the turnaround plan and shall also consider any personnel evaluations conducted that are consistent with the guidelines established pursuant to section 1B; and provided , further, that the arbitrator’s decision shall be issued within 10 days from the completion of the hearing.

              For a school with limited English-proficient students, the professional development and planning time for teachers and administrators identified in clauses ( 10 ) to ( 12 ), inclusive, shall include specific strategies and content designed to maximize the rapid academic achievement of limited English-proficient students at the school.

              (e) Within 30 days of the local stakeholder group making recommendations under subsection (b), the superintendent shall submit a turnaround plan to the local stakeholder group, the school committee and the commissioner, all of whom may propose modifications to the plan.  The superintendent shall make such plan immediately available to the public upon the submission. The stakeholder group, the school committee and the commissioner shall submit any proposed modifications to the superintendent not more than 30 days after the date of submission of the turnaround plan and the proposed modifications shall be made public immediately upon their submission to the superintendent.  The superintendent shall consider and may incorporate the modifications into the plan if the superintendent determines that inclusion of the modifications would further promote the rapid academic achievement of students at the school or may alter or reject the proposed modifications submitted under this subsection.  Within 30 days of receiving any proposed modifications under this subsection, the superintendent shall issue a final turnaround plan for the school and the plan shall be made publicly available.

              (f) Within 30 days of the issuance of a final turnaround plan under subsection (e) a school committee or local  union may appeal to the commissioner regarding 1 or more components of the plan, including the absence of 1 or more modifications proposed under subsection (e).   The commissioner may, in consultation with the superintendent, modify the plan if the commissioner determines that: (1) such modifications would further promote the rapid academic achievement of students in the applicable school; (2) a component of the plan was included, or a modification was excluded, on the basis of demonstrably-false information or evidence; or (3) the superintendent failed to meet the requirements of subsections (b) to (e), inclusive. The decision of the commissioner regarding an appeal under this subsection shall be made within 30 days and shall be final. (g) I f, after considering the recommendations of the group of stakeholders, the superintendent considers it necessary to maximize the rapid academic achievement of students at the applicable school by altering the compensation, hours and working conditions of the administrators, teachers, principal and staff at the school or by altering other provisions of a contract or collective bargaining agreement applicable to the administrators, teachers, principal and staff, the superintendent may request that the school committee and any union bargain or reopen the bargaining of the relevant collective bargaining agreement to facilitate such achievement.  The bargaining shall be conducted in good faith and completed not later than 30 days from the point at which the superintendent requested that the parties bargain.  The agreement shall be subject to ratification within 10 business days by the bargaining unit members in the school.  If the parties are unable to reach an agreement within 30 days or if the agreement is not ratified within 10 business days by the bargaining unit members of the school, the parties shall submit remaining unresolved issues a joint resolution committee for dispute resolution process on the next business day following the end of the 30 - day bargaining period or failure to ratify. 

              The joint resolution committee shall be comprised of 3 members, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the employee organization within 3 business days following the submission of unresolved issues to the joint resolution committee, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the school committee within 3 business days following the submission of unresolved issues to the joint resolution committee and 1 who shall be selected through the American Arbitration Association who shall forthwith forward to the parties a list of 3 conciliators, each of whom shall have professional experience in elementary and secondary education, from which the parties may agree upon a single conciliator provided, however, that if the parties cannot select a conciliator from among the 3 within 3 business days, the American Arbitration Association shall select a conciliator from the remaining names.  The joint resolution committee shall conduct a dispute resolution process to be concluded within 10 business days of selection. This process shall be conducted in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association and consistent with this section.  The fee for the process shall be shared equally between the 2 parties involved. 

              The joint resolution committee shall consider the positions of the parties, the designation of the school as underperforming and the needs of the students in the school.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the decision of the joint resolution committee shall be dispositive of all the issues in dispute and shall be submitted to the parties within 10 business days of the completion of the process .  Under no circumstance, shall a time extension be granted beyond 10 business days of the completion of the process . If a decision is not submitted to the parties within 10 business days, the c ommissioner will resolve all outstanding issues.

              (h) The superintendent may select an external receiver to operate the school and implement the turnaround plan or to assist the superintendent with the implementation.  The superintendent may appoint the receiver if the superintendant determines that conditions exist in the district that are likely to negatively affect his ability to implement the plan successfully.  A school committee may appeal to the commissioner the decision of the superintendent to appoint an external receiver.   The commissioner may reverse such decision only if he determines that the superintendent made the decision on the basis of demonstrably-false information or evidence. A receiver shall be a non-profit entity or an individual with a demonstrated record of success in improving low-performing schools or the academic performance of disadvantaged students.  A receiver shall be subject to section 11A ½ of chapter 30A and chapter 66. A receiver who is an individual shall also be subject to chapter 268A.

              (i)  An external receiver selected by the superintendent to operate a school shall have full managerial and operational control over the school as provided in the turnaround plan .  For all other purposes, the school district in which the school is located shall remain the employer of record.

              (j) Each turnaround plan shall be authorized for a period of not more than 3 years, subject to subsection (k).  The superintendent or external receiver, as applicable, may develop additional components of the turnaround plan pursuant to subsections (b) to ( g ) inclusive and shall develop annual goals for each component of the plan , in a manner consistent with subsection s (b) t o (g) , inclusive .  The superintendent or external receiver, as applicable, shall be responsible for meeting the goals of the plan. 

              (k) Each school designated by the commissioner as underperforming under subsection (a) shall be reviewed by the superintendent, in consultation with the principal of the school, at least annually.  The purpose of the review shall be to determine whether the school has met the annual goals in its turnaround plan and to assess the overall implementation of the turnaround plan .  The review shall be in writing and shall be submitted to the commissioner and the relevant school committee not later than July 1 for the preceding school year.  The review shall be submitted in a format determined by the department of elementary and secondary education.

              If the commissioner determines that the school has met the annual performance goals stated in the turnaround plan , the review shall be considered sufficient and the implementation of the turnaround plan shall continue.   If the commissioner determines that the school has not met 1 or more goals in the turnaround plan and that the failure to meet the goals may be corrected through reasonable modification of the plan, the superintendent may amend the turnaround plan in a manner consistent with the provisions of subsection (b) to ( g ) inclusive .  If the commissioner determines that the school has substantially failed to meet 1 or more goals in the plan, the commissioner may appoint an examiner to conduct an evaluation of the school’s implementation of the turnaround plan

              If the commissioner determines that the school has substantially failed to meet multiple goals in the plan, the commissioner may require changes to the turnaround plan to be implemented by the superintendent in the following year or the appointment of an external partner to advise and assist the superintendent in implementing the plan the following year .  If the changes to the turnaround plan require changes in a collective bargaining agreement applicable to administrators, teachers or staff in the school, the bargaining procedure in subsection (g) shall be used.  If an underperforming school is operated by an external receiver, the commissioner may require the superintendent to terminate the receiver and develop a new turnaround plan ; provided, however, that the superintendent shall not terminate the receiver before the completion of the first full school year of the operation of the underperforming school.

              (l) Upon the expiration of a turnaround plan , the commissioner shall conduct a review of the school to determine whether the school has improved sufficiently, requires further improvement or has failed to improve.  On the basis of such review, the commissioner may determine that: (1) the school has improved sufficiently for the designation of the school as underperforming to be removed; (2) the school has improved, but the school remains underperforming, in which case the superintendent may, with the approval of the commissioner, renew the plan or create a new or modified plan for an additional period of not more than 3 years , consistent with the requirements of subsections (a) to (g) ; or  (3) consistent with the requirements of subsection (a) , the school is chronically underperforming.   The commissioner may recommend the appointment of an external receiver by the superintendent if the commissioner believes that a new or modified turnaround plan implemented by the superintendent will not result in rapid improvement.  In carrying out this subsection, the superintendent shall: (1) in the case of a renewal of a turnaround plan , determine subsequent annual goals for each component of the plan with the input of the local stakeholder group as defined in subsection (b); or (2) create a new or modified turnaround plan as necessary, consistent with the requirements of this section.

              (m) Upon the designation of a school as a chronically underperforming school in accordance with the regulations developed under this section, the commissioner shall create a turnaround plan for the school under this subsection and subsections ( n ) to (p), inclusive.  

              Before creating the turnaround plan required in this subsection, the commissioner shall convene a local stakeholder group of not more than 1 3 individuals for the purpose of soliciting recommendations on the content of such plan in order to maximize the rapid academic achievement of students.  The commissioner shall provide due consideration to the recommendations of the stakeholder group. The group shall include: (1) the superintendent, or a designee; (2) the chair of the school committee, or a designee; (3) the president of the local teacher’s union, or a designee; (4) an administrator from the school, who may be the principal, chosen by the superintendent; (5) a teacher from the school chosen by the faculty of the school; (6) a parent from the school chosen by the local parent organization; (7) representatives of applicable state and local social service, health and child welfare agencies, chosen by the commissioner;  (8) as appropriate, representatives of state and local workforce development agencies, chosen by the commissioner ; (9) for elementary schools, a representative of an early education and care provider chosen by the commissioner of the department of early education and care and, for middle schools or high schools, a representative of the higher education community selected by the secretary of education ; and (10) a member of the community appointed by the chief executive of the city or town .  If the school or district does not have a parent organization or if the organization does not select a parent, the commissioner shall select a volunteer parent of a student from the school.  The commissioner shall convene the group within 30 days of the designation of a school as chronically underperforming and the group shall make its recommendations to the commissioner within 45 days of its initial meeting.  Meetings of the local stakeholder group shall be open to the public and the recommendations submitted to the commissioner under this subsection shall be publicly available immediately upon their submission.

              (n)  In creating the turnaround plan required in subsection (m), the commissioner shall include, after considering the recommendations of the local stakeholder group,  provisions intended to maximize the rapid academic achievement of students at the school and shall, to the extent practicable, base the plan  on student outcome data, including, but not limited to: (1) data collected under section 1I or information from a school or district review performed under section 55A of chapter 15; (2) student achievement on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System; (3) other measures of student achievement, approved by the commissioner, as appropriate; (4) student promotion and graduation rates; (5) achievement data for different subgroups of students, including low-income students as defined by chapter 70, limited English-proficient students and students receiving special education; and (6) student attendance , dismissal rates and exclusion rates

The commissioner shall include in the creation of the turnaround plan , after considering the recommendations of the local stakeholder group, the following: (1) steps to address social service and health needs of students at the school, and their families, in order to help students arrive and remain at school ready to learn ; provided, however, that this may include mental health and substance abuse screening ; (2) steps to improve or expand child welfare services and, as appropriate, law enforcement services in the school community, in order to promote a safe and secure learning environment; (3) steps to improve workforce development services provided to students at the school, and their families, in order to provide students and families with meaningful employment skills and opportunities;   (4) steps to address achievement gaps for limited English-proficient, special education and low-income students; ( 5 ) alternative English language learning programs for limited - English proficient students, notwithstanding chapter 71A ; and ( 6 ) a financial plan for the school, including any additional funds to be provided by the district, commonwealth, federal government or other sources.

The secretaries of health and human services, labor and workforce development, public safety and other applicable state and local social service, health and child welfare officials shall coordinate with the secretary of education and the commissioner regarding the implementation of strategies under clauses (1) to (3), inclusive, of the second paragraph that are included in a final turnaround plan and shall, subject to appropriation, reasonably support the implementation consistent with the requirements of state and federal law applicable to the relevant programs that each official is responsible for administering. 

In order to assess the school across multiple measures of school performance and student success, the turnaround plan shall include measurable annual goals including, but not limited to, the following: (1) student attendance , dismissal rates and exclusion rates ; (2) student safety and discipline; (3) student promotion and graduation and dropout rates ; (4) student achievement on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System; (5) progress in areas of academic underperformance; (6) progress among subgroups of students, including low-income students as defined by chapter 70, limited English-proficient students and students receiving special education; (7) reduction of achievement gaps among different groups of students; (8) student acquisition and mastery of 21 st -century skills; (9) development of college readiness, including at the elementary and middle school levels; (10) parent and family engagement; (11) building a culture of academic success among students; (12) building a culture of student support and success among school faculty and staff; and (13) developmentally appropriate child assessments from pre-kindergarten through third grade, if applicable.

              (o)  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, i n creating the turnaround plan required in subsection (m), the commissioner may, after considering the recommendations of the group of stakeholders: (1) expand, alter or replace the curriculum and program offerings of the school, including the implementation of research-based early literacy programs , early interventions for struggling readers and the teaching of advanced placement courses or other rigorous nationally or internationally recognized courses , if the school does not already have such programs or courses; (2) reallocate the uses of the existing budget of the school; (3) provide additional funds to the school from the budget of the district, if the school does not already receive funding from the district at least equal to the average per pupil funding received for students of the same classification and grade level in the district; (4) provide funds, subject to appropriation, to increase the salary of an administrator ,or teacher in the school, in order to attract or retain highly-qualified administrators or teachers or to reward administrators,. or teachers who work in chronically underperforming schools that achieve the annual goals set forth in the turnaround plan ; (5) expand the school day or school year or both of the school; (6) for an elementary school, add pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten classes, if the school does not already have such classes; (7) limit, suspend, or change 1 or more provisions of any contract or collective bargaining agreement, as the contract or agreement applies to the school; provided, however, that the commissioner shall not reduce the compensation of an administrator, teacher or staff member unless the hours of the person are proportionately reduced ; and provided further, that the commissioner may require the school committee and any applicable unions to bargain in good faith for 30 days before exercising authority pursuant to this clause ; (8) following consultation with applicable local unions, require the principal and all administrators,  teachers and staff to reapply for their positions in the school, with full discretion vested in the superintendent  regarding his consideration of and decisions on rehiring based on the reapplications ; (9) limit, suspend or change 1 or more school district policies or practices , as such policies or practices relate to the school ; (10) include a provision of job-embedded professional development for teachers at the school, with an emphasis on strategies that involve teacher input and feedback; (11) provide for increased opportunities for teacher planning time and collaboration focused on improving student instruction; (12) establish a plan for professional development for administrators at the school, with an emphasis on strategies that develop leadership skills and use the principles of distributive leadership; (13) establish steps to assure a continuum of high expertise teachers by aligning the following processes with the common core of professional knowledge and skill:   hiring, induction, teacher evaluation, professional development, teacher advancement, school culture and organizational structure;  (14) develop a strategy to search for and study best practices in areas of demonstrated deficiency in the school; (15) establish strategies to address mobility and transiency among the student population of the school; and (16) include additional components, at the discretion of the commissioner, based on the reasons the school was designated as chronically underperforming and the recommendations of the local stakeholder group in subsection (m).

              If the commissioner does not approve a reapplication submitted by an employee pursuant to clause (7) for a position in the school or if an employee does not submit a reapplication for a position in the school, the employee shall retain such rights as may be provided under law or any applicable collective bargaining agreement, in relation to the employee’s ability to fill another position in the district; provided, however, that the employee shall not have the right to displace any teacher with professional teacher status in any other school during a school year.

A teacher with professional teacher status in a school declared underperforming or chronically underperforming may be dismissed for good cause; provided, however, that the teacher receives 5 days written notice of the decision to terminate which shall include without limitation an explanation of the reason why the commissioner or superintendent is not retaining the teacher in the school; provided , further, that the teacher may seek review of a termination decision within 5 days after receiving notice of the teacher’s termination by filing a petition for expedited arbitration with the commissioner; provided further, that except as otherwise provided herein section 42 of chapter 71 shall apply to a petition filed pursuant to this section; provided further, that the commissioner shall cause an arbitrator to be selected pursuant to the procedures in section 42 of chapter 71 within 3 days of receipt of petition and shall conduct and complete a hearing within 10 days of receipt of the petition; provided , further, that in reviewing dismissal decisions, the arbitrator shall consider the components of the turnaround plan and shall also consider any personnel evaluations conducted that are consistent with the guidelines established pursuant to section 1B; and provided , further, that the arbitrator’s decision shall be issued within 10 days from the completion of the hearing.

For a school with limited English-proficient students, the professional development and planning time for teachers and administrators identified in clauses (10) to (12), inclusive, shall include specific strategies and content designed to maximize the rapid academic achievement of the limited English-proficient students.

If the commissioner proposes to reallocate funds to the school from the budget of the district under clause (3), the commissioner shall notify the school committee, in writing, of the amount of and rationale for the reallocation. 

              (p) Within 30 days of the local stakeholder group making recommendations under subsection (m), the commissioner shall submit a turnaround plan to the local stakeholder group, the superintendent and the school committee, all of whom may propose modifications to the plan.  The commissioner shall make the plan immediately available to the public upon submission. The stakeholder group, the superintendent and the school committee shall submit any proposed modifications to the commissioner within 30 days after the date of submission of the turnaround plan and the proposed modifications shall be made public immediately upon their submission to the commissioner.  The commissioner shall consider and incorporate the modifications into the plan if the commissioner determines that inclusion of the modifications would further promote the rapid academic achievement of students at the applicable school.  The commissioner may alter or reject modifications submitted pursuant to this subsection.  Within 30 days of receiving any proposed modifications, the commissioner shall issue a final turnaround plan for the school and the plan shall be made publicly available.

              (q) Within 30 days of the issuance of a final turnaround plan under subsection (p), a superintendent, school committee or local union may appeal to the board of elementary and secondary education regarding 1 or more components of the plan, including the absence of 1 or more modifications proposed under subsection (p).   A majority of the board, may vote to modify the plan if the board determines that: (1) such modifications would further promote the rapid academic achievement of students in the applicable school; (2) a component of the plan was included, or a modification was excluded, on the basis of demonstrably-false information or evidence; or (3) the commissioner failed to meet the requirements of subsections (m) to (p), inclusive.  The decision of the board regarding an appeal under this subsection shall be made within 30 days and shall be final.

              (r)  In the case of a chronically underperforming school, the commissioner may, under the circumstances described in this subsection, send a targeted assistance team to the school to assist the superintendent with the implementation of the turnaround plan , require the superintendent to implement the turnaround plan , or select an external receiver to operate the school and implement the turnaround plan .  The commissioner may appoint such receiver if the commissioner determines that: (1) the superintendent is unlikely to implement the plan successfully; or (2) conditions exist in the district that are likely to negatively affect the ability of the superintendent to implement such plan successfully.  A receiver shall be a non-profit entity or an individual with a demonstrated record of success in improving low performing schools or the academic performance of disadvantaged students. A receiver shall be subject to section 11A½ of chapter 30Aand chapter 66.  A receiver who is an individual shall also be subject to chapter 268A. 

The commissioner may select the external receiver upon the designation of a school as chronically underperforming.  The external receiver may serve as the commissioner’s designee for the purpose of creating a school’s turnaround plan under subsections (m) to (p), inclusive.

              (s)  An external receiver selected by the commissioner to operate a chronically underperforming school shall have full managerial and operational control over the school as provided in the turnaround plan .  For all other purposes, the school district in which the school is located shall remain the employer of record.

              (t) Each turnaround plan shall be authorized for a period of not more than 3 years, subject to subsection (v).  The superintendent or external receiver, as applicable, may develop additional components of the plan and shall develop annual goals for each component of the plan in a manner consistent with subsection ( n ) , all of which must be approved by the commissioner.  The superintendent or external receiver, as applicable, shall be responsible for meeting the goals of the turnaround plan .

              (u) The commissioner or external receiver, as applicable, shall provide a written report to the school committee on a quarterly basis to provide specific information about the progress being made on the implementation of the school’s turnaround plan . One of the quarterly reports shall be the annual evaluation under subsection (v). 

              (v) The commissioner shall evaluate each chronically underperforming school at least annually.  The purpose of the evaluation shall be to determine whether the school has met the annual goals in its turnaround plan and assess the implementation of the plan at the school. The review shall be in writing and shall be submitted to the superintendent and the school committee not later than July 1 for the preceding school year.   The review shall be submitted in a format determined by the department of elementary and secondary education.

If the commissioner determines that the school has met the annual performance goals stated in the turnaround plan , the review shall be considered sufficient and the implementation of the turnaround plan shall continue.  If the commissioner determines that the school has not met 1 or more goals in the plan, the commissioner may modify the plan in a manner consistent with subsection ( n )

If the commissioner determines that the school has substantially failed to meet multiple goals in the plan, the commissioner may: (1)if the school is operated by a superintendent, appoint an external receiver, as defined in subsection (r), to operate the school; or (2) if the school is operated by an external receiver terminate the contract of the external receiver; provided, however, that the commissioner shall not terminate the receiver before the completion of the first full school year of the operation of the chronically underperforming school.

              (w) Upon the expiration of a turnaround plan for a chronically underperforming school, the commissioner shall conduct a review of the school to determine whether the school has improved sufficiently, requires further improvement or has failed to improve.  On the basis of such review, the commissioner may: (1) on the basis of a superintendent’s or external receiver’s success in meeting the terms of the plan, renew the plan with the superintendent or external receiver  for an additional period of not more than 3 years; (2) if a school that is operated by a superintendent and remains chronically underperforming, appoint an external receiver, as defined in subsection (r), to operate the school; (3) if a chronically underperforming school that is operated by an external receiver and remains chronically underperforming, transfer the operation of the school from the receiver to the applicable superintendent or to another external receiver; or (4) determine that the school has improved sufficiently for the designation of chronically underperforming to be removed.  The commissioner shall: (1) in the case of a renewal of an turnaround plan , jointly determine subsequent annual goals for each component of the plan with the superintendent or external receiver, as applicable; or (2) create a new or modified turnaround plan as necessary, consistent with the requirements of this section.

              (x) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, any underperforming or chronically underperforming school operating a limited- English proficient program or programs for limited English proficient students in any 1 language group shall establish a limited English proficient parent advisory council. The parent advisory council shall be comprised of parents or legal guardians of students who are enrolled in limited English proficient programs within the school. Each parent advisory council shall have at least 1 representative from every language group in which a program is conducted in a given school. Membership shall be restricted to parents or legal guardians of students enrolled in limited English proficient programs within the school. The duties of the parent advisory council shall include, but not be limited to, advising the school on matters that pertain to the education of students in limited English proficient programs, meeting regularly with school officials to participate in the planning and development of a plan to improve educational opportunities for limited English proficient students, and to participate in the review of school improvement plans established under section 59C of chapter 71 as they pertain to limited English proficient students.  Any parent advisory council may, at its request, meet at least once annually with the school council. The parent advisory council shall establish by-laws regarding officers and operational procedures. In the course of its duties under this section, the parent advisory council shall receive assistance from the director of limited English proficient programs for the district or other appropriate school personnel as designated by the superintendent.

              (y) The board of elementary and secondary education shall adopt regulations regarding: (1) the conditions under which an underperforming or chronically underperforming school shall no longer be designated as an underperforming or chronically underperforming school; and (2) the transfer of the operation of an underperforming or a chronically underperforming school from a superintendent or an external receiver, as applicable, to the school committee.  The regulations shall include provisions to allow a school to retain measures adopted in an turnaround plan for a transitional period if, in the judgment of the commissioner, the measures would contribute to the continued improvement of the school. Such regulations shall also include provisions that clearly identify the conditions under which such a transitional period shall end and the powers granted to the commissioner and board under this section shall cease to apply to a district previously designated as chronically underperforming.  

              ( z ) The commissioner shall report annually to the joint committee on education, the house and senate committees on ways and means, the speaker of the house of representatives and the senate president on the implementation and fiscal impact of this section and section 1K. The report shall include, but not be limited to, a list of all schools currently designated as underperforming or chronically underperforming, a list of all districts currently designated as chronically underperforming, the plans and timetable for returning the schools and districts to the local school committee and strategies used in each of the schools and districts to maximize the rapid academic achievement of students.  

              Section 1K.   (a) A district shall be deemed eligible for designation as chronically underperforming u pon a determination by the board of elementary and secondary education, pursuant to regulations adopted by the board, that a school district , other than a single school district, has scored in the lowest 10 per cent statewide when compared to other districts of the same grade levels based on a single measure developed by the department that takes into account student achievement data collected pursuant to 1I, and, beginning on July 1, 2011, improvement over time in student academic achievement.   Following such determination, the commissioner shall appoint a district review team pursuant to section 55A of chapter 15 to assess and report on the reasons for the underperformance and the prospects for improvement, unless such an assessment has been completed by a district review team within the previous year that the commissioner considers adequate.  The district review team shall include at least 1 person with expertise in the academic achievement of limited English-proficient students.  Upon review of the findings of the district review team, the board may declare the district chronically underperforming.  

Following such a declaration, the board shall designate a receiver for the district with all the powers of the superintendent and school committee.  The receiver shall be a non-profit entity or an individual with a demonstrated record of success in improving low-performing schools or districts or the academic performance of disadvantaged students who shall report directly to the commissioner. An external receiver designated by the board to operate a district under this subsection shall have full managerial and operational control over such district; provided, however, that the school district shall remain the employer of record for all other purposes.  A receiver shall be subject to section 11A ½ of chapter 30A and chapter 66.  A receiver who is an individual shall also be subject to chapter 268A.

Not more than 2.5 per cent of the total number of school districts may be designated as chronically underperforming at any given time.

In adopting regulations allowing the board to designate a district as chronically underperforming, the board must ensure that the regulations account for multiple indicators of district quality  including student attendance , dismissal rates , exclusion rates , student promotion and graduation rates in the district, or the lack of demonstrated significant improvement for 2 or more consecutive years in core academic subjects, either in the aggregate or among subgroups of students, including designations based on special education classification, low-income, English language proficiency and racial classifications.

              (b) The commissioner and the receiver shall jointly create an turnaround plan to promote the rapid improvement of the chronically underperforming district.  The plan shall specifically focus on the school or schools in the district that have been designated as chronically underperforming under section 1J and the district policies or practices that have contributed to chronic underperformance.

Before creating the turnaround plan required in this subsection, the commissioner and receiver shall convene a local stakeholder group  of not more than 1 3 individuals for the purpose of soliciting recommendations  on the content of such plan in order to maximize the rapid improvement of the academic achievement of students.  The commissioner shall provide due consideration to the recommendations of the local stakeholder group.  The group shall include: (1) the superintendent, or a designee; (2) the chair of the school committee, or a designee; (3) the president of the local teacher’s union, or a designee; (4) a selection of  administrators from the district, chosen by the commissioner from among volunteers from the district; (5) a selection of teachers from the district, chosen by the local teacher’s union; (6) a selection of parents from the district chosen by the local parent organization; (7) representatives of applicable state and local social service, health, and child welfare agencies chosen by the commissioner; (8) as appropriate, representatives of state and local workforce development agencies chosen by the commissioner ; (9) a representative of an early education and care provider chosen by the commissioner of the department of early education and care , or for middle or high schools, a representative of the higher education community selected by the secretary of education ; and ( 10 ) a member of the community appointed by the chief executive of the city or town .  If the district does not have a parent organization or if the organization does not select a parent, the commissioner shall select a volunteer parent of a student from the district.  The commissioner and receiver shall convene the group within 30 days of the board designating a district as chronically underperforming and the group shall make its recommendations to the commissioner and receiver within 45 days of its initial meetings.  Meetings of the local stakeholder group shall be open to the public and the recommendations submitted to the commissioner and receiver shall be publicly available immediately upon their submission.

              (c) In creating the turnaround plan , the commissioner and receiver shall include measures intended to maximize the rapid improvement of the academic achievement of students in the district and shall, to the extent practicable, base the plan on student outcome data, including, but not limited to: (1) data collected pursuant to section 1I, or information from a school or district review performed under section 55A of chapter 15; (2) student achievement on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System; (3) other measures of student achievement, approved by the commissioner, ; (4) student promotion and graduation rates; (5) achievement data for different subgroups of students, including low-income students as defined in chapter 70, limited English-proficient students and students receiving special education; and (6) student attendance , dismissal rates and exclusion rates .  In creating the turnaround plan required in subsection (b), the commissioner and receiver shall include, after considering the recommendations of the local stakeholder group, the following: (1) steps to address social service and health needs of students in the district and their families in order to help students arrive and remain at school ready to learn ; provided, however, that this may include mental health and substance abuse screening ; (2) steps to improve or expand child welfare services and, as appropriate, law enforcement services in the school district community, in order to promote a safe and secure learning environment; (3) as applicable, steps to improve workforce development services provided to students in the district and their families in order to provide students and families with meaningful employment skills and opportunities; (4) steps to address achievement gaps for limited English-proficient, special education and low-income students, as applicable; ( 5 ) alternative English language learning programs for limited - English proficient students, notwithstanding chapter 71A ; and ( 6 ) a budget for the district including any additional funds to be provided by the commonwealth, federal government or other sources

              The secretaries of health and human services, public safety, labor and workforce development and other applicable state and local social service, health and child welfare officials shall coordinate with the secretary of education and the commissioner regarding the implementation of strategies pursuant to clauses (1) to (3), inclusive, of this subsection that are included in an turnaround plan and shall, subject to appropriation, reasonably support the implementation consistent with the requirements of state and federal law applicable to the relevant programs that each such official is responsible for administering. 

              In order to assess the district across multiple measures of district performance and student success, the turnaround plan shall include measurable annual goals including, but not limited to, the following: (1) student attendance , dismissal rates and exclusion rates ; (2) student safety and discipline; (3) student promotion and graduation and dropout rates ; (4) student achievement on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System; (5) progress in areas of academic underperformance; (6) progress among subgroups of students, including low-income students as defined by chapter 70, limited English-proficient students and students receiving special education; (7) reduction of achievement gaps among different groups of students; (8) student acquisition and mastery of 21 st -century skills; (9) development of college readiness, including at the elementary and middle school levels; (10) parent and family engagement; (11) building a culture of academic success among students; (12) building a culture of student support and success among faculty and staff; and (13) developmentally appropriate child assessments from pre-kindergarten through third grade, if applicable.

              (d) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, in creating the turnaround plan under subsection (b), the commissioner and the receiver may, after considering the recommendations of the group of stakeholders: (1) expand, alter or replace the curriculum and program offerings of the district or of a school in the district, including the implementation of research-based early literacy programs , early interventions for struggling readers and the teaching of advanced placement courses or other rigorous nationally or internationally recognized courses , if the district or schools in the district do not already have such programs or courses; (2) reallocate the uses of the existing budget of the district; (3) provide funds, subject to appropriation, to increase the salary of an administrator , or teacher in the district working in an underperforming or chronically underperforming school , in order to attract or retain highly-qualified administrators, or teachers or to reward administrators or teachers who work in chronically underperforming districts that achieve the annual goals set forth in the turnaround plan ; (4) expand the school day or school year or both of schools in the district; (5) limit, suspend or change 1 or more provisions of any contract or collective bargaining agreement in the district, including the adoption of model provisions identified by the commissioner from among existing contracts or collective bargaining agreements in the commonwealth; provided, however, that the commissioner shall not reduce the compensation of an administrator, teacher or staff member unless the hours of the person are proportionately reduced ; ( 6 ) add pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten classes, if the district does not already have the classes; ( 7 ) following consultation with applicable local unions, require the principal and all administrators,  teachers and staff to reapply for their positions in the district , with full discretion vested in the receiver regarding any such reapplication s . turnaround plan ; (8) limit, suspend or change 1 or more school district policies or practices , as such policies or practices relate to the underperforming schools in the district ;  (9) include a provision of job-embedded professional development for teachers in the district, with an emphasis on strategies that involve teacher input and feedback; (10) provide for increased opportunities for teacher planning time and collaboration focused on improving student instruction; ( 11 ) establish a plan for professional development for administrators in the district, with an emphasis on strategies that develop leadership skills and use the principles of distributive leadership; (12) establish steps to assure a continuum of high expertise teachers by aligning the following processes with the common core of professional knowledge and skill:   hiring, induction, teacher evaluation, professional development, teacher advancement, school culture and organizational structure; (13) develop a strategy to search for and study best practices in areas of demonstrated deficiency in the district; (14) establish strategies to address mobility and transiency among the student population of the district; and (15)  include additional components, at the discretion of the commissioner and the receiver, based on  the reasons the district was designated as chronically underperforming and based on the recommendations of the local stakeholder group in subsection (b).

              If the commissioner does not approve a reapplication submitted by an employee pursuant to clause (7 ) for a position in a school or if an employee does not submit a rea pplication for a position in a school, the employee shall retain such rights as may be provided under law or any applicable collective bargaining agreement in relation to the employee’s ability to fill another position in the district; provided, however, that the employee shall not have the right to displace any teacher with professional teacher status in any other school during a school year.

A teacher with professional teacher status in a school declared underperforming or chronically underperforming may be dismissed for good cause; provided, however, that the teacher receives 5 days written notice of the decision to terminate which shall include without limitation an explanation of the reason why the commissioner/superintendent is not retaining the teacher in the school; provided , further, that the teacher may seek review of a termination decision within 5 days after receiving notice of the teacher’s termination by filing a petition for expedited arbitration with the commissioner; provided , further, that except as otherwise provided herein section 42 of chapter 71 shall apply to a petition filed pursuant to this section; provided further, that the commissioner shall cause an arbitrator to be selected pursuant to the procedures in section 42 of chapter 71 within 3 days of receipt of petition and shall conduct and complete a hearing within 10 days of receipt of the petition; provided further, that in reviewing dismissal decisions, the arbitrator shall consider the components of the turnaround plan and shall also consider any personnel evaluations conducted that are consistent with the guidelines established pursuant to section 1B; and provided , further, that the arbitrator’s decision shall be issued within 10 days from the completion of the hearing.

              For a district with limited English-proficient students, the professional development and planning time for teachers and administrators identified in clauses (9) to (11), inclusive, shall include specific strategies and content designed to maximize the rapid academic achievement of limited English-proficient students in the district.

              (e) if, after considering the recommendations of the group of stakeholders, pursuant to subsection (d) the commissioner  considers it necessary to maximize the rapid academic achievement of students at an underperforming or chronically underperforming school by altering the compensation, hours and working conditions of the administrators, teachers, principals and staff at the school or by altering other provisions of a contract or collective bargaining agreement applicable to the administrators, teachers, principals and staff, the commissioner may request that the school committee and any union bargain or reopen the bargaining of the relevant collective bargaining agreements to facilitate such achievement.  The bargaining shall be conducted in good faith and completed not later than 30 days from the point at which the commissioner requested that the parties bargain.  The agreement shall be subject to ratification within 10 business days by the bargaining unit members in the school.  If the parties are unable to reach an agreement within 30 days or if the agreement is not ratified within 10 business days by the bargaining unit members of the school, the parties shall submit remaining unresolved issues to a joint resolution committee for dispute resolution process on the next business day following the end of the 30 day bargaining period or failure to ratify. 

              The joint resolution committee shall be comprised of 3 members, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the employee organization within 3 business days following the submission of unresolved issues to the joint resolution committee, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the school committee within 3 business days following the submission of unresolved issues to the joint resolution committee and 1 who shall be selected through the American Arbitration Association who shall forthwith forward to the parties a list of three conciliators, each of whom shall have professional experience in elementary and secondary education, from which the parties may agree upon a single conciliator ; provided, however, that if the parties cannot select a conciliator from among the 3 within 3 business days, the American Arbitration Association shall select a conciliator from the remaining names.  The joint resolution committee shall conduct a dispute resolution process to be concluded within 10 business days of selection. This process shall be conducted in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association and consistent with this section; provided however, that all members of the joint resolution committee must agree to any resolution. The fee for the process shall be shared equally between the 2 parties involved. 

              The joint resolution committee shall consider the positions of the parties, the designation of the school as underperforming or chronically underperforming, the designation of the district as chronically underperforming, and the needs of the students in the school.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the unanimous decision of the joint resolution committee shall be dispositive of all the issues in dispute and shall be submitted to the parties within 10 business days of the close of the hearing.  Under no circumstance, shall a time extension be granted beyond 10 business days of the close of the hearing. In the event that a unanimous decision is not submitted to the parties within 10 business days, the c ommissioner will resolve all outstanding issues.

              ( f ) The turnaround plan shall be authorized for a period of not more than 3 years, subject to subsection (g).  The commissioner and receiver may jointly develop additional components of the plan and shall jointly develop annual goals for each component of the plan in a manner consistent with the provisions of subsection ( d ) .  The receiver shall be responsible for meeting the goals of the turnaround plan .

              ( g ) The commissioner and receiver shall provide a written report to the school committee on a quarterly basis to provide specific information about the progress being made on the implementation of the district’s turnaround plan .  One of the quarterly reports shall be the annual evaluation required in subsection (g).

              ( h ) The commissioner shall evaluate the performance of the receiver on not less than an annual basis.  The purpose of such evaluation shall be to assess the implementation of the turnaround plan and determine whether the district has met the annual goals contained in the turnaround plan .  The evaluation shall be in writing and submitted to the board and the local school committee no later than July 1 for the preceding school year.

              If the commissioner determines that the district has met the annual performance goals stated in the turnaround plan , the evaluation shall be considered sufficient and the implementation of the turnaround plan shall continue.

              If the commissioner determines that the receiver has not met 1 or more goals in the plan and the failure to meet the goals may be corrected through reasonable modification of the plan, the commissioner may amend the turnaround plan , as necessary. After assessing the implementation of the turnaround plan in the district, the commissioner may amend the plan if the commissioner determines that the amendment is necessary in view of subsequent changes in the district that affect 1 or more components of the plan, including, but not limited to, changes to contracts, collective bargaining agreements, or school district policies , in manner consistent with the provisions of subsection ( d ) .  If the commissioner determines that the receiver has substantially failed to meet multiple goals in the turnaround plan , the commissioner may terminate such receiver; provided, however, that  the termination shall not occur before the completion of the first full school year of the receivership of the district. 

              ( i ) After the period of receivership, there shall be a reevaluation of a district’s status under this section.  The board of elementary and secondary education shall adopt regulations providing for: (1) the removal of a designation of a district as chronically underperforming; and (2) the transfer of the operation of a chronically underperforming district from an external receiver to the superintendent and school committee, based on the improvement of the district.  The regulations shall include provisions to allow a district to retain measures adopted in a turnaround plan for a transitional period if, in the judgment of the commissioner, the measures would contribute to the continued improvement of the district. Such regulations shall also include provisions that clearly identify the conditions under which such a transitional period shall end and the powers granted to the commissioner and board under this section shall cease to apply to a district previously designated as chronically underperforming.   At any time after a chronically underperforming district has been placed in receivership, the school committee of the district may petition the commissioner for a determination as to whether the turnaround plan adopted under subsection (b) should be modified or eliminated and whether the school district shall no longer be designated as chronically underperforming.  The decision of the commissioner shall be based on regulations adopted by the board.  A school committee may seek review by the board of elementary and secondary education of an adverse determination. 

              ( j ) If, on the basis of the regulations adopted by the board pursuant to subsection (h), a district has not improved sufficiently to remove the designation of the district as chronically underperforming, the commissioner may: (1) jointly determine subsequent annual goals for each component of the turnaround plan with the receiver and renew the turnaround plan for an additional period of not more than 3 years; or (2) create a new turnaround plan , consistent with the requirements of this section.

              ( k ) If a municipality has failed to fulfill its fiscal responsibilities pursuant to chapter 70, the commissioner may declare the school district as chronically underperforming, subject to the approval of the board. The municipality’s mayor or chairman of the board of selectmen shall have the opportunity to present evidence to the board.  A vote by the board that a school district is chronically underperforming for fiscal reasons shall authorize the commissioner to petition the commissioner of revenue to require an increase in funds for the school district, alleging that the amount necessary in the municipality for the support of public schools has not been included in the annual budget appropriations. The commissioner of revenue shall determine the amount of any deficiency pursuant to the sums required pursuant to chapter 70, if any, and issue an order compelling the municipality to provide a sum of money equal to such deficiency.  If the municipality does not provide a sum of money equal to such deficiency, the commissioner of revenue, pursuant to section 23 of chapter 59, shall not approve the tax rate of the municipality for the fiscal year until the deficiency is alleviated.  Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as creating a cause of action for educational malpractice by students or their parents, guardians or persons acting as parents.

              If the district is designated as chronically underperforming pursuant to this subsection, the provisions of this subsection shall supersede those in subsections (a) to (j), inclusive. 

              SECTION 4. Subsection (b) of section 15 of chapter 70B of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-

              Before the sale or lease of an assisted structure or facility or a portion of that structure or facility, the school district in control of the structure or facility shall submit to the authority a district-wide school facility use plan that shall include, but not be limited to, a listing of all school facilities under the control of the school district, a detailed description of both the current use and proposed use of each school facility, the most recent enrollment data, by school facility, then available to the school district, a detailed floor plan of each school facility that shows and labels each space in the facility and whether it is used as a classroom or has some other use and any other information that may be required by the authority to understand the district’s school facility use plan.  If the plan includes the closure, sale or lease of a school facility or any part of a school facility, the authority may conduct, with the full cooperation of the district, an analysis of district-wide enrollment capacity and future enrollment trends for the district.  If the capacity analysis and enrollment projection indicate an extended period of significant excess capacity within the district’s educational facilities, the district may , prior to consideration of any other disposition of the identified excess capacity, make a good faith offer to sell or lease at fair market value the identified excess capacity to a commonwealth charter school established pursuant to section 89 of chapter 71 or an applicant for a commonwealth charter school pursuant to said section 89 of said chapter 71 that serves or is seeking to serve students who live in the school district.  The authority shall not recapture commonwealth and authority assistance for any such excess capacity that is sold or leased to a commonwealth charter school or applicant for a commonwealth charter school.

SECTION 5 .   Section 2 of chapter 71 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “government”, in line 4, the following words :- and a program relating to the flag of the United States of America, including , but not limited to, proper etiquette, the correct use and display of the flag , the importance of participation in the electoral process and the provisions of 36 U.S.C. 170 to 177 , inclusive .

              SECTION 6. Section 61 of said chapter 71, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-

A town may terminate its participation in a union by a majority vote of the school committee of the town; provided, however, that said termination shall only be for the purpose of forming an innovation school pursuant to section 92 or establishing different school governance structures. Termination shall be independent of any pending votes regarding dissolution of the union or pending votes by another town regarding its participation.

              SECTION 7 . Said c hapter 71 is hereby further amended by striking out section 89, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

              Section 89. (a) As used in this section the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-

              “Board”, the board of elementary and secondary education.

              “Charter school”, commonwealth charter schools and Horace Mann charter schools unless specifically stated otherwise.

              “Commissioner”, the commissioner of elementary and secondary education.

              “Department”, the department of elementary and secondary education.

              “District”, or “school district”, the school department of a city, town, regional school district, or county agricultural school.

              “Superintendent”, the superintendent of the district.

              (b) The purposes of establishing charter schools are: (i) to stimulate the development of innovative programs within public education; (ii) to provide opportunities for innovative learning and assessments; (iii) to provide parents and students with greater options in selecting schools within and outside their school districts; (iv) to provide teachers with a vehicle for establishing schools with alternative, innovative methods of educational instruction and school structure and management; (v) to encourage performance-based educational programs; (vi) to hold teachers and school administrators accountable for students' educational outcomes; and (vii) to provide models for replication in other public schools.

              (c) A commonwealth charter school shall be a public school, operated under a charter granted by the board, which operates independently of a school committee and is managed by a board of trustees. The board of trustees of a commonwealth charter school, upon receiving a charter from the board, shall be deemed to be public agents authorized by the commonwealth to supervise and control the charter school.

              A Horace Mann charter school shall be a public school or part of a public school operated under a charter approved by the school committee and the local collective bargaining unit in the district in which the school is located ; provided that all charters shall be granted by the board of elementary and secondary education. A Horace Mann charter school shall have a memorandum of understanding with the school committee of the district in which the charter school is located which, at a minimum, defines the services and facilities to be provided by the district to the charter school and states the funding of the charter school by the district. A Horace Mann charter school established as a conversion of an existing public school shall not require approval of the local collective bargaining unit, but shall require a memorandum of understanding agreement regarding any waivers to applicable collectiv e bargaining agreements; provided further, that the memorandum of understanding shall be approved by a majority of the school faculty ; provided further, that Horace Mann charter schools that are conversion of existing public schools shall not be subject to clause (1) of subsection (i) .  A vote by the school faculty shall be held and finalized within 30 days of submission of the charter school application to the board of elementary and secondary education. A Horace Mann charter school shall be operated and managed by a board of trustees independent of the school committee which approved the school. The board of trustees may include a member of the school committee.

              (d)  Persons or entities eligible to submit an application to establish a charter school shall include, but not be limited to:  (i) a non-profit business or corporate entity; (ii) 2 or more certified teachers; or (iii) 10 or more parents; provided, however, that for profit business or corporate entities shall be prohibited from applying for a charter. The application may be filed in conjunction with a college, university, museum or other similar non-profit entity. Private and parochial schools shall not be eligible for charter school status. The board may authorize a single board of trustees to manage more than 1 charter school; provided, however, that each school is issued its own charter. The commissioner shall provide technical assistance to public school districts to assist in the development of proposals for Horace Mann charter schools.

              (e) The board shall establish the information needed in an application for the approval of a charter school; provided that the application shall include, but not be limited to, a description of: (i) the mission, purpose, innovation and specialized focus of the proposed charter school; (ii) the innovative methods to be used in the charter school and how they differ from the district or districts from which the charter school is expected to enroll students; (iii) the organization of the school by ages of students or grades to be taught, an estimate of the total enrollment of the school and the district or districts from which the school will enroll students; (iv) the method for admission to the charter school; (v) the educational program, instructional methodology and services to be offered to students, including research on how the proposed program may improve the academic performance of the subgroups listed in the recruitment and retention plan; (vi) the school’s capacity to address the particular needs of limited English-proficient students, if applicable, to learn English and learn content matter, including the employment of staff that meets the criteria established by the department; (vii) how the school shall involve parents as partners in the education of their children; (viii) the school governance and bylaws; (ix) a proposed arrangement or contract with an organization that shall manage or operate the school, including any proposed or agreed upon payments to such organization; (x) the financial plan for the operation of the school; (xi) the provision of school facilities and pupil transportation; (xii) the number and qualifications of teachers and administrators to be employed; (xiii) procedures for evaluation and professional development for teachers and administrators; (xiv) a statement of equal educational opportunity which shall state that charter schools shall be open to all students, on a space available basis, and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, age, ancestry, athletic performance, special need, proficiency in the English language or academic achievement; (xv) a student recruitment and retention plan, including deliberate, specific strategies the school will use to ensure the provision of equal educational opportunity as stated in clause (xiv) and to attract, enroll and retain a student population that, when compared to students in similar grades in schools from which the charter school is expected to enroll students, contains a comparable academic and demographic profile; and (xvi) plans for disseminating successes and innovations of the charter school to other non-charter public schools.

              (f)  The student recruitment and retention plan required under clause (xv) of subsection (e) shall include, but not be limited to, a detailed description of deliberate, specific strategies the school will use to maximize the number of students who successfully complete all school requirements and prevent students from dropping out. The student recruitment and retention plan shall be updated annually and shall include annual goals for: (i) recruitment activities; (ii) student retention activities; and (iii) student retention. 

              (g)  To ensure that a commonwealth charter school shall fulfill its obligations under its recruitment and retention plan, the school district or districts from which the commonwealth charter school is expected to enroll students shall annually provide, at the request of a commonwealth charter school, to a third party mail house authorized by the department, the addresses for all students in the district eligible to enroll in the school, unless a student’s parent or guardian requests that the district withhold that student’s information; provided, however, that the department may require the charter school to send the mailing in the most prevalent languages of the district or districts that the charter school is authorized to serve.

              At the request of a school district from which a commonwealth charter school enrolls students, the charter school shall provide to a third party mail house the addresses for all students currently enrolled in the commonwealth charter school from the district; provided, however, that the information shall not be provided if a student’s parent or guardian requests that the school withhold that student’s information.   Each district shall be permitted to supply a mailing to the third party mail house and pay for it to be copied and mailed to families of students from said district enrolled in the commonwealth charter school.

              (h) An application submitted for the establishment of a commonwealth charter school shall: (i) be submitted to the board for approval under this section; and (ii) be filed with the local school committee for each school district from which the charter school is expected to enroll students. Before final approval to establish a commonwealth charter school, the board shall hold a public hearing on the application in the school district in which the proposed charter school is to be located and solicit and review comments on the application from the local school committee of each school district from which the charter school is expected to enroll students and any contiguous districts .  At least 1 member of the board shall attend the public hearing.  A comprehensive written summary of all materials prepared by the department or its administrative subdivisions, which evaluates or recommends approval or disapproval of a charter application must be delivered to the members of the board, the applicant, in support of, or in opposition to, the school submitted not later than 3 days before any board vote on the charter application.

              All material in support of, or in opposition to, the school submitted to the department or the board shall be made available to the applicant and affected school districts before a vote by the board on a commonwealth charter school application.

( i ) (1) Not more than 120 charter schools shall be allowed to operate in the commonwealth at any time, excluding those approved pursuant to paragraph (3); provided, however, that of the 120 charter schools, not more than 48 shall be Horace Mann charter schools ; provided, however, notwithstanding subsection (c) the 14 new Horace Mann charter schools shall not be subject to the requirement of an agreement with the local collective bargaining unit prior to board approval ; provided , further, that a fter the charter for these 14 new Horace Mann charter schools have been granted by the board , the schools shall develop a memorandum of understanding with the school committee and the local union regarding any waivers to applicable c ollective bargaining agreements; provided , further, that i f an agreement is not reached on the memorandum of understanding at least 30 days before the scheduled opening of the school, the charter school shall operate under the terms of its charter until an agreement is reached; provided , further, that not less 4 of the new Horace Mann charter schools shall be located in a municipality with more than 500,000 residents ; and not more than 72 shall be commonwealth charter schools. The board shall not approve a new commonwealth charter school in any community with a population of less than 30,000 as determined by the most recent United States Census estimate, unless it is a regional charter school.

Applications to establish a charter school shall be submitted to the board annually by November 15. The board shall review the applications and grant new charters in February of the following year.

(2) In any fiscal year, no public school district's total charter school tuition payment to commonwealth charter schools shall exceed 9 per cent of the district's net school spending; provided, however, that a public school district’s total charter tuition payment to commonwealth charter schools shall not exceed 18 per cent of the district’s net school spending if the school district qualifies under paragraph (3). The commonwealth shall incur charter school tuition payments for siblings attending commonwealth charter schools to the extent that their attendance would otherwise cause the school district's charter school tuition payments to exceed 9 per cent of the school district's net school spending or 18 per cent for those districts that qualify under said paragraph (3).

Not less than 2 of the new commonwealth charters approved by the board in any year shall be granted for charter schools located in districts where overall student performance on the statewide assessment system approved by the board under section 1I of chapter 69 is in the lowest 10 per cent statewide in the 2 years preceding the charter application.

In any fiscal year, the board shall approve only 1 regional charter school application of any commonwealth charter school located in a school district where overall student performance on the statewide assessment system is in the top 10 per cent in the year preceding charter application. The board may give priority to applicants that have demonstrated broad community support, an innovative educational plan, a demonstrated commitment to assisting the district in which it is located in bringing about educational change and a record of operating at least 1 school or similar program that demonstrates academic success and organizational viability and serves student populations similar to those the proposed school seeks to serve.

(3) In any fiscal year, if the board determines based on student performance data collected pursuant to section 1I , said district is in the lowest 10 per cent of all statewide student performance scores released in the 2 consecutive school years before the date the charter school application is submitted, the school district’s total charter school tuition payment to commonwealth charter schools may exceed 9 per cent of the district’s net school spending but shall not exceed 18 per cent. For a district qualifying under this paragraph whose charter school tuition payments exceed 9 per cent of the school district’s net school spending, the board shall only approve an application for the establishment of a commonwealth charter school if an applicant, or a provider with which an applicant proposes to contract, has a record of operating at least 1 school or similar program that demonstrates academic success and organizational viability and serves student populations similar to those the proposed school seeks to serve, from the following categories of students, those: (i) eligible for free lunch; (ii) eligible for reduced price lunch; (iii) that require special education; (iv) limited English-proficient of similar language proficiency level as measured by the Massachusetts English Proficiency Assessment examination; (v) sub-proficient, which shall mean students who have scored in the “needs improvement”, “warning” or “failing” categories on the mathematics or English language arts exams of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System for 2 of the past 3 years or as defined by the department using a similar measurement; (vi) who are designated as at risk of dropping out of school based on predictors determined by the department; (vii) who have dropped out of school; or (viii) other at-risk students who should be targeted to eliminate achievement gaps among different groups of students. For a district approaching its net school spending cap, the board shall give preference to applications from providers building networks of schools in more than 1 municipality.

              The recruitment and retention plan of charter schools approved under this paragraph shall, in addition to the requirements under subsections (e) and (f), include, but not limited to: (i) a detailed description of deliberate, specific strategies the charter school sha ll use to attract, enroll and retain a student population that, when compared to students in similar grades in schools from which the charter school sha ll enroll students, contains a comparable or greater percentage of special education students or students who are limited English-proficient of similar language proficiency as measured by the Massachusetts English Proficiency Assessment examination and 2 or more of the following categories: students eligible for free lunch; (ii) students eligible for reduced price lunch; students who are sub-proficient, those students who have scored in the ”needs improvement”, ”warning” or ”failing” categories on the mathematics or English language arts exams of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System for 2 of the past 3 years or as defined by the department using a similar measurement; (iii) students who are determined to be at risk of dropping out of school based on predictors determined by the department; (iv) students who have dropped out of school; or (v) other at-risk students who should be targeted in order to eliminate achievement gaps among different groups of students.   A charter school approved under this section shall supply a mailing in the most prevalent languages of the district the charter is authorized to serve to a third party mail house and pay for it to be copied and mailed to eligible students.  If a school is or shall be located in a district with 10 per cent or more of limited English-proficient students, the recruitment strategies shall include a variety of outreach efforts in the most prevalent languages of the district. The recruitment and retention plan shall be updated each year to account for changes in both district and charter school enrollment. 

If a district is no longer in the lowest 10 per cent, the net school spending cap shall be 9 per cent, unless the district net school spending was above 9 per cent in the year prior to moving out of the lowest 10 per cent in which case the net school spending cap shall remain at the higher level plus enrollment previous approved by the board.  The department shall determine and make available to the public a list of the school districts in said lowest 10 per cent. 

              (j) The board shall make the final determination on granting charter school status and may condition charters on the applicant's taking certain actions or maintaining certain conditions. The board shall establish criteria for the approval of a charter application and recommendations to the board shall be based upon and reference those criteria.

If a final application is deemed inadequate by the department, the department may provide feedback to the applicant and invite it to submit a stronger application subsequently.   Once a final application has been filed, only minor, non-substantive amendments shall be allowed.   The department shall maintain a written detailed summary of interviews it conducts with final charter applicants and include that summary with the final application materials that are provided to the board, local school officials and the public.  

              (k) A charter school established under a charter granted by the board shall be a body politic and corporate with all powers necessary or desirable for carrying out its charter program, including, but not limited to, the power to:

              (1) adopt a name and corporate seal; provided that any name selected must include the words “charter school”;

(2) sue and be sued, but only to the same extent and upon the same conditions that a municipality can be sued;

              (3) acquire real property, from public or private sources, by lease, lease with an option to purchase or by gift, for use as a school facility; provided, however, in the case of a Horace Mann charter school, the approval of the local school committee shall be obtained before acquisition of any such real property owned or controlled by the body;

              (4) receive and disburse funds for school purposes;

              (5) make contracts and leases for the procurement of services, equipment and supplies; provided, however, that if the charter school intends to procure substantially all educational services under contract with another person, the terms of such a contract must be approved by the board either as part of the original charter or by way of an amendment thereto; provided, further that the board shall not approve any such contract terms, the purpose or effect of which is to avoid the prohibition of this section against charter school status for private and parochial schools;

              (6) incur temporary debt in anticipation of receipt of funds; provided that a Horace Mann school shall obtain the approval of the local school committee and appropriate local appropriating authorities and officials relative to any proposed lien or encumbrance upon public school property or relative to any financial obligation for which the local school district shall become legally obligated; and provided further, that notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the terms of repayment of any charter school's debt shall not exceed the duration of the school's charter without the approval of the board;

              (7) solicit and accept grants or gifts for school purposes; and

              (8) have such other powers available to a business corporation formed under chapter 156B that are not inconsistent with this chapter.

              (l) Charter schools shall not charge a public school for the use or replication of a part of their curriculum subject to the prescriptions of a contract between the charter schools and any third party providers.

              (m) Charter schools shall be open to all students, on a space available basis, and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, age, ancestry, athletic performance, special need, or proficiency in the English language or a foreign language or academic achievement. Charter schools may limit enrollment to specific grade levels and may structure curriculum around particular areas of focus such as mathematics, science or the arts. There shall be no application fee for admission to a charter school. There shall be no tuition charge for students attending charter schools.

              (n) Preference for enrollment in a commonwealth charter school shall be given to students who reside in the city or town in which the charter school is located. Priority for enrollment in a Horace Mann charter school shall be given first to students actually enrolled in the school on the date that the application is filed with the board and to their siblings; second to other students actually enrolled in the public schools of the district where the Horace Mann charter school is to be located; and third to other resident students.

If the total number of students who are eligible to attend and apply to a charter school and who reside in the city or town in which the charter school is located or are siblings of students already attending said charter school, is greater than the number of spaces available, an admissions lottery, including all eligible students applying, shall be held to fill all of the spaces in that school from among the students.  If there are more spaces available than eligible applicants from the city or town in which the charter school is located and who are siblings of current students and more eligible applicants than spaces left available, a lottery shall be held to determine which of the applicants shall be admitted; provided, however, that a lottery conducted for Horace Mann charter schools shall reflect the enrollment priorities of this section. Notwithstanding this subsection, upon application by the board of trustees of a charter school or by the persons or entities seeking to establish a charter school, the board may amend or grant a charter designating such school a regional charter school; provided, however, that such regional charter school shall be exempt from the local preference provision of this paragraph; provided further, that such regional charter school shall continue to grant a preference of siblings of currently enrolled students; and provided further, that if the number of applicants remaining is greater than the number of spaces available, such regional charter school shall conduct a single lottery to determine which applicants shall be admitted. 

              In any instance where a charter school approved after January 1, 2011 enrolls more than 20 per cent of its total enrollment from school districts not included in its original charter pursuant to subsection (h) for 2 consecutive years, the charter school shall submit an application to the board for an amendment to its charter that reflects its actual enrollment patterns; provided further that upon renewal of a charter school approved prior to January 1, 2011, the board shall establish a timeline of not less than 5 years for the charter to comply with this requirement.

              Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a charter school to unenroll any student currently in attendance at the time this act takes effect.

When a student stops attending a charter school for any reason, the charter school shall fill the vacancy with the next available student on the waitlist for the grade in which the vacancy occurs and shall continue through the waitlist until a student fills the vacant seat. If there is no waitlist, a charter school shall publicize an open seat to the students of the sending district or districts and make attempts to fill said vacant seat. Charter schools shall attempt to fill vacant seats up to February 15, provided, however, that charter schools may but are not required to fill vacant after February 15. If a vacancy occurs after February 15, such vacancy shall remain with the grade cohort and shall be filled in the following September if it has not previously been filled. A vacancy occurring after February 15 shall not be filled by adding a student to a lower grade level. Charter schools shall attempt to fill vacant seats up to February 15, excluding seats in the last half of the grades offered by the charter school , and grade s 10, 11 and 12 . Within 30 days of a vacancy being filled, the charter school shall send the name of the student filling such vacancy to the department for the purposes of the department updating its waitlist.

The names of students who entered the lottery but did not gain admission shall be maintained on a waitlist, which shall be forwarded to the department not later than June 1 in the year in which the lottery is held. In addition to the names of students, the school shall supply to the department each student’s home address, telephone number, grade level and other information the department deems necessary.  The department shall maintain a consolidated waitlist for each municipality in order to determine the number of individual students in each municipality seeking admission to charter schools.

(o) Each charter school shall annually, not later than April 1, notify each public school district in writing of the number and grade levels of students who will be attending the charter school from that district the following September as well as the number of new students who will be transferring from that district to the charter school in the following September. Tuition for charter school students shall only be paid for the number of students for whom notification has been reported by April 1. Tuition for charter school students shall be paid only for students actually enrolled in the school.

(p) A student may withdraw from a charter school at any time and enroll in another public school where the student resides.

A student may be expelled from a charter school based on criteria determined by the board of trustees, and approved by the board, with the advice of the principal and teachers; provided, however, that charter school policies shall be consistent with sections 37H and 37H½.

              (q) A charter school may be located in part of an existing public school building, in space provided on a private work site, in a public building or any other suitable location; provided, however, that no school building assistance funds authorized under chapter 70B shall be awarded to a commonwealth charter school for the purpose of constructing, reconstructing or improving a commonwealth charter school.

              (r) The school committee of each district where a Horace Mann charter school is located shall develop a plan to disseminate innovative practices of the charter school to other public schools within the district subject to the provisions of any contract between the Horace Mann charter school and any third party provider.

The commissioner shall facilitate the dissemination of successful innovation programs of charter schools and provide technical assistance for other school districts to replicate such programs.  Each charter school shall collaborate with its sending district on the sharing of innovative practices.

              (s) A charter school shall operate in accordance with its charter and the provisions of law regulating other public schools; provided, however, that sections 41 and 42 shall not apply to employees of commonwealth charter schools. Charter schools shall comply with the chapters 71A and 71B; provided, however, that the fiscal responsibility of a special needs student currently enrolled in or determined to require a private day or residential school shall remain with the school district where the student resides. If a charter school expects that a special needs student currently enrolled in the charter school may be in need of the services of a private day or residential school, it shall convene an individual education plan team meeting for the student. Notice of the team meeting shall be provided to the special education department of the school district in which the child resides at least 5 days in advance. Personnel from the school district in which the child resides shall be allowed to participate in the team meeting concerning future placement of the child.

              (t) Horace Mann charter schools shall be exempt from local collective bargaining agreements to the extent provided by the terms of its charter; provided, however, that employees of the Horace Mann charter school shall continue to be members of the local collective bargaining unit and shall accrue seniority and shall receive, at a minimum, the salary and benefits established in the contract of the local collective bargaining unit where the Horace Mann charter school is located. Employees of Horace Mann charter schools shall be exempt from all union and school committee work rules to the extent provided by the school's charter. Employees in Horace Mann charter schools shall be required to work the full work day and work year to the extent provided by the terms of the school’s charter.

              (u) Notwithstanding this section or any other general or special law to the contrary, for the purposes of chapter 268A: (i) a charter school shall be deemed to be a state agency; and (ii) the appointing official of a member of the board of trustees of a charter school shall be deemed to be the commissioner. Members of boards of trustees of charter schools operating under the this section shall file a disclosure annually with the state ethics commission, the department and the city or town clerk wherein such charter school is located. The disclosure is in addition to the requirements of said chapter 268A and a member of a board of trustees must also comply with the disclosure and other requirements of said chapter 268A.  The form of the disclosure shall be prescribed by the ethics commission and shall be signed under penalty of perjury. Such form shall be limited to a statement in which members of the board of trustees shall disclose any financial interest that they or a member of their immediate families, as defined in section 1 of said chapter 268A, have in any charter school located in the commonwealth or in another state or with a person doing business with a charter school.

Each member of a board of trustees of a charter school shall file such disclosure for the preceding calendar year with the commission within 30 days of becoming a member of the board of trustees, by September 1 of each year thereafter that the person is a member of the board and by September 1 of the year after the person ceases to be a member of the board; provided, however, that no member of a board of trustees shall be required to file a disclosure for the year in which he ceases to be a member of the board if he served less than 30 days in that year.

              (v) Students in charter schools shall be required to meet the same performance standards, testing and portfolio requirements set by the board for students in other public schools.

              (w) The board of trustees, in consultation with the teachers, shall determine the school's curriculum and develop the school's annual budget. The board of trustees of each Horace Mann charter school shall annually submit to the superintendent and school committee of the district in which the school is located a budget request for the following fiscal year. The school committee shall act on the budget request in conjunction with its actions on the district's overall budget. Each Horace Mann charter school shall receive in response to the budget request not less than it would have under the district's budgetary allocation rules. The board of trustees may appeal any disproportionate budgetary allocation to the commissioner, who shall determine an equitable funding level for the school and shall require the school committee to provide the funding.

Following the appropriation of the district's operating budget for the fiscal year, the amount approved by the local appropriating authority for the operation of each Horace Mann charter school shall be available for expenditure by the board of trustees of the school for any lawful purpose without further approval by the superintendent or the school committee. A Horace Mann charter school shall not expend or incur obligations in excess of its budget request; provided, however, that a Horace Mann charter school may spend federal and state grants and other funds received independent of the school district not accounted for in the charter school's budget request without prior approval from the superintendent or the school committee.

              (x) Upon approval of a Horace Mann charter school by the board, the superintendent where the Horace Mann charter school is to be located shall reassign, to the extent provided by the terms of its charter, any faculty member who wishes to be reassigned to another school located within the district.

              (y) Employees of charter schools shall be considered public employees for purposes of tort liability under chapter 258 and for collective bargaining purposes under chapter 150E. The board of trustees shall be considered the public employer for purposes of tort liability under said chapter 258 and for collective bargaining purposes under said chapter 150E; provided, however, that in the case of a Horace Mann charter school, the school committee of the school district in which the Horace Mann charter school is located shall remain the employer for collective bargaining purposes under said chapter 150E. Teachers employed by a charter school shall be subject to the state teacher retirement system under chapter 32 and service in a charter school shall be creditable service within the meaning thereof.

A charter school shall recognize an employee organization designated by the authorization cards of 50 per cent of its employees in the appropriate bargaining unit as the exclusive representative of all the employees in such unit for the purpose of collective bargaining.

              (z) Each local school district shall be required to grant a leave of absence to any teacher in the public schools system requesting such leave to teach in a commonwealth charter school. A teacher may request a leave of absence for up to 2 years.

At the end of the second year , the teacher may either return to his former teaching position or, if he chooses to continue teaching at the commonwealth charter school, resign from his school district position.

              ( aa ) Notwithstanding section 59C, the internal form of governance of a charter school shall be determined by the school's charter.

              ( bb ) A charter school shall comply with all applicable state and federal health and safety laws and regulations.

              (cc) The students who reside in the school district in which the charter school is located shall be provided transportation to the charter school by the resident district's school committee on similar terms and conditions as transportation is provided to students attending local district schools if the transportation is requested by the charter school. In providing the transportation, the school committee shall accommodate the particular school day and school year of the charter school; provided, however, that in the event that a school committee limits transportation for district school students, the school district shall not be required to provide transportation to any commonwealth charter school beyond the limitations.  A charter school and the sending district shall meet to plan bus routes and charter school starting and ending times in order to assist the district with cost effective means of transportation.  Schools operating under a charter granted after January 1, 1997, and all charter schools operating during fiscal year 1999 and thereafter, shall not receive funds for transportation above the amount actually required by such charter school for the provision of transportation services to eligible students. If the sending district provides an alternative method of transportation for students enrolled in the sending district's public schools, it shall not be assessed for transportation costs which exceed the per pupil cost of said alternative. Costs for transportation shall be included only if transportation is provided for students in the same program and grade level as those in the charter school. Students who do not reside in the district in which the charter school is located shall be eligible for transportation in accordance with section 12B of chapter 76. A regional charter school as designated by the board, and whose charter provides for transportation of all students from charter municipalities shall also be reimbursed by the commonwealth under section 16C of chapter 71 for transportation provided to pupils residing outside the municipality where the charter school is located, but no reimbursement for transportation between the charter school and home shall be made on account of any pupil who resides less than 1.5 miles from the charter school, measured by a commonly traveled route.  If a charter school provides its own transportation, the school shall coordinate and collaborate with the sending district to provide cost effective means of transportation.  All such transportation shall be determined in advance of the approval of the district’s final budget for a fiscal year; provided, however, that a commonwealth charter school shall be required to determine such transportation in the first year of its operation as soon as practicable.

              ( dd )  A charter granted by the board shall be for 5 years. The board shall develop procedures and guidelines for revocation and renewal of a school's charter; provided, however, that a charter for a Horace Mann charter school shall not be renewed by the board without a majority vote of the school committee and local collective bargaining unit in the district where said charter school is located; provided, however, that a commonwealth charter shall not be renewed unless the board of trustees of the charter school has documented in a manner approved by the board that said commonwealth charter school has provided models for replication and best practices to the commissioner and to other public schools in the district where the charter school is located.

              When deciding on charter renewal, the board shall consider progress made in student academic achievement, whether the school has met its obligations and commitments under the charter, the extent to which the school has followed its recruitment and retention plan by using deliberate, specific strategies towards recruiting and retaining the categories of students enumerated in paragraph (3) of subsection (i) and the extent to which the school has enhanced its plan as necessary.  The board may impose conditions on the charter school upon renewal if it fails to adhere to and enhance its recruitment and retention plan as required.  When deciding on charter renewal, the board shall take into account the annual attrition of students. The board shall also consider innovations that have been successfully implemented by the charter school and the evidence that supports the effectiveness of these practices.  Upon renewal of its charter, a school shall update and enhance its recruitment and retention plan as necessary to account for changes in enrollment.

              ( ee ) The board may revoke a school's charter if the school has not fulfilled any conditions imposed by the board in connection with the grant of the charter or the school has violated any provision of its charter. The board may place conditions on a charter or may place a charter school on a probationary status to allow the implementation of a remedial plan after which, if said plan is unsuccessful, the charter may be summarily revoked.

              ( ff ) Commonwealth charter schools shall be funded as follows: the commonwealth shall pay a tuition amount to the charter school, which shall be the sum of the tuition amounts calculated separately for each district sending students to the charter school. Tuition amounts for each sending district shall be calculated by the department using the formula set forth herein, to reflect, as much as practicable, the actual per pupil spending amount that would be expended in the district if the students attended the district schools. The tuition amount shall be calculated separately for each district sending students to a charter school, and for each charter school to which a district sends students. Each district's per pupil tuition amount for each charter school to which it sends students shall include a per pupil foundation budget component, adjusted to reflect the actual net school spending in the sending district.

In calculating the per pupil foundation budget component, the department shall calculate a foundation budget for the students from each sending district attending the charter school in the previous fiscal year, pursuant to the provisions of section 2 of chapter 70; provided, that the department shall not include in said calculation the assumed tuitioned-out special education enrollment, nor any amounts generated by said assumed enrollment, as defined by said section 2. The per pupil foundation budget component shall be the district's foundation budget for the charter school, as so calculated, divided by the number of students attending the charter school from the sending district in the previous fiscal year. The per pupil foundation budget component shall be calculated separately for each charter school to which a district sends students. The foundation budget for a charter school shall be the sum of the foundation budgets for the charter school for each district sending students to the charter school.

In adjusting the per pupil foundation budget component, the department shall calculate for each sending district an above foundation spending percentage, which shall be the percentage by which the district's actual net school spending exceeds the foundation budget for the district, as calculated pursuant to the provisions of chapter 70. The department shall further calculate the percentage of actual net school spending reported by the sending district associated with tuition costs for tuitioned-out special education students, including education that occurs in educational collaboratives, and with spending on health care costs for retired employees, for any district for which such costs are included in net school spending, and shall reduce the district's above foundation spending percentage proportionately. The per pupil foundation budget component for each charter school to which the sending district sends students shall be increased by said adjusted above foundation spending percentage.

The total tuition amount owed by a sending district to a charter school shall be the per pupil tuition amount as defined above, multiplied by the total number of students attending the charter school from that district in the current fiscal year. The sending district's total charter school tuition amount for purposes of the following paragraphs shall be the sum of the district's tuition amounts for each charter school to which the district sends students, calculated using the provisions of this section. The receiving charter school's total charter school tuition amount shall be the sum of the tuition amounts calculated for the charter school for each district sending students to the charter school.

If a charter school student previously attended a private or parochial school or was home schooled, the commonwealth shall assume the first year cost for that student and shall not reduce the sending district's chapter 70 aid for that student's tuition in that fiscal year.

The state treasurer is hereby authorized and directed to deduct a district's total charter school tuition amount, as calculated herein, from the total state school aid, as defined in section 2 of said chapter 70, of the district in which the student resides prior to the distribution of said aid. In the case of a child residing in a municipality which belongs to a regional school district, the charter school tuition amount shall be deducted from said chapter 70 education aid of the school district appropriate to the grade level of the child. If, in a single district, the total of all such deductions exceeds the total of said education aid, this excess amount shall be deducted from other aid appropriated to the city or town. If, in a single district, the total of all such deductions exceeds the total state aid appropriated, the commonwealth shall appropriate this excess amount; provided, however, that if said district has exempted itself from the provisions of said chapter 70 by accepting section 14 of said chapter 70, the commonwealth shall assess said district for said excess amount.

The state treasurer is hereby further authorized and directed to disburse to the charter school an amount equal to the charter school's total charter school tuition amount as defined above.

If more than 1 charter school is managed by a single network or board of trustees, funding shall not be transferred among individual schools within the network unless such schools are located in the same school district.

The department shall, subject to appropriation, provide funding to charter schools for a portion of the per pupil capital needs component included in the charter tuition amount and shall reimburse the sending school districts for said costs. In fiscal year 2011 and thereafter, such funding shall not be less than the per pupil amount provided in fiscal year 2010. 

              ( gg ) Any district whose total charter school tuition amount is greater than its total charter school tuition amount for the previous year shall be reimbursed by the commonwealth in accordance with this paragraph and subject to appropriation; provided, however, that no funds for said reimbursements shall be deducted from funds distributed pursuant to chapter 70. The reimbursement amount shall be equal to 100 per cent of the increase in the year in which the increase occurs and 25 per cent in the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth years following.

              ( hh ) If the unencumbered amount of cumulative surplus revenue from tuition held by a charter school at the end of a fiscal year, less (i) the amount of the fourth quarter tuition payment, (ii) the amount held in reserve for the purchase or renovation of an academic facility pursuant to a capital plan, and (iii) any reserve funds held as security for bank loans, exceeds 20 per cent of its operating budget and its budgeted capital costs for the succeeding fiscal year as is reported in a capital plan to be submitted in the school’s most recent annual report, the amount in excess of said 20 per cent shall be returned by the charter school to the sending district or districts and the state in proportion to their share of tuition paid during the fiscal year.  At the end of each fiscal year, the commissioner shall certify the amounts described above and the amount, if any, by which it exceeds 20 per cent of the school’s operating budget and its budgeted capital costs for the succeeding fiscal year, and shall report such amount to the school committee of the sending district or districts and the applicable board of selectmen or city council by December 1 of each year. A charter school shall annually make any payment required by this subsection no later than December 31.

              (ii) No teacher shall be hired by a commonwealth charter school who is not certified pursuant to section 38G unless the teacher has successfully passed the state teacher test as required in said section 38G.

              ( jj ) Each charter school shall submit an annual report, no later than August 1, to the board, the local school committee, each parent or guardian of its enrolled students and each parent or guardian contemplating enrollment in that charter school. The annual report shall be in such form as may be prescribed by the board and shall include, but not be limited to: (i) discussion of progress made toward the achievement of the goals set forth in the charter; and (ii) a financial statement setting forth by appropriate categories the revenue and expenditures for the year just ended and a balance sheet setting forth the charter school’s assets, liabilities and fund balances or equities.

The department shall promulgate regulations creating a reporting requirement for a charter school’s net asset balance at the end of the fiscal year; provided, however, that said regulations shall require, without limitation, the following: the revenue and expenditures for the year just ended with a specific accounting of the uses of public and private dollars; how the capital needs component of the charter school’s tuition was spent; compensation and benefits for teachers, staff, administrators, executives, and board of trustees; the amount of any and all funds transferred to a management company; the sources of any surplus funds, specifically whether they are private or public; how any surplus funds were used in the previous fiscal year; and the planned use of any surplus funds in the upcoming fiscal year on in future fiscal years.

              Each charter school shall keep an accurate account of all its activities and all its receipts and expenditures and shall annually cause an independent audit to be made of its accounts. Such audit shall be filed annually on or before January 1 with the department and the state auditor and shall be in a form prescribed by the state auditor. The state auditor may investigate the budget and finances of charter schools and their financial dealings, transactions and relationships, and shall have the power to examine the records of charter schools and to prescribe methods of accounting and the rendering of periodic reports.

              ( kk ) The commissioner shall collect data on the racial, ethnic and socio-economic make-up of the student enrollment of each charter school in the commonwealth. The commissioner shall also collect data on the number of students enrolled in each charter school who have individual education plans pursuant to chapter 71B and those requiring English language learners programs under chapter 71A. The commissioner shall file said data annually with the clerks of the house and senate and the joint committee on education not later than December 1.

              ( ll ) Individuals or groups may complain to a charter school's board of trustees concerning any claimed violations of the provisions of this section by the school. If, after presenting their complaint to the trustees, the individuals or groups believe their complaint has not been adequately addressed, they may submit their complaint to the board which shall investigate such complaint and make a formal response.

              ( mm ) The board shall promulgate regulations for implementation and enforcement of this section.

              SECTION 8 .   Said c hapter 71 is hereby further amended by adding the following section:-

              Section 92. (a) An Innovation School shall be a public school, operating within a public school district, that is established for the purpose of improving school performance and student achievement through increased autonomy and flexibility.  An Innovation School may be established as a new public school or as a conversion of an existing public school.  A student who is enrolled in a school at the time it is established as an Innovation School shall retain the ability to remain enrolled in the school if the student chooses to do so.

              (b) An Innovation School may establish an advisory board of trustees.  An Innovation School shall have increased autonomy and flexibility in 1 or more of the following areas: (i) curriculum; (ii) budget; (iii) school schedule and calendar; (iv) staffing policies and procedures, including waivers from or modifications to, contracts or collective bargaining agreements; (v) school district policies and procedures; and (vi) professional development. An Innovation School shall receive each school year from the school committee the same per pupil allocation as any other district school receives. An Innovation School may retain any unused funds and use the funds in subsequent school years. An Innovation School may establish a non-profit organization that may, among other things, assist the school with fundraising.  A district shall not reduce its funding to an Innovation School as a result of the school’s fundraising activities.

              (c) An Innovation School established under this section shall be authorized by the local school committee and shall operate according to an innovation plan, which shall articulate the areas of autonomy and flexibility under subsection (b).  To the extent practicable, the innovation plan shall be based on  student outcome data, including, but not limited to: (i) student achievement on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System; (ii) other measures of student achievement, approved by the commissioner, as appropriate; (iii) student promotion, graduation rates and dropout rates; (iv) achievement data for different subgroups of students, including low-income students as defined by chapter 70, limited English-proficient students and students receiving special education; and (v) student attendance, dismissal rates and exclusion rates.

An Innovation School shall operate in accordance with the law regulating other public schools, except as the law conflicts with this section or any innovation plans created thereunder. 

              (d) An Innovation School is a school in which: (i) faculty and leadership are primarily responsible for developing the innovation plan under which the school operates and leadership is responsible for meeting the terms of the innovation plan; or (ii) an external partner is primarily responsible for developing the innovation plan under which the school operates and the external partner is responsible for meeting the terms of the innovation plan. 

              (e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit: (i) the establishment of an Innovation School as an academy within an existing public school; (ii) the establishment of an Innovation School serving students from 2 or more school districts; provided, however, that all of the provisions of this section are met by each school district; (iii) the simultaneous establishment of 2 or more Innovation Schools as an Innovation Schools Zone within a school district; or (iv) the establishment of an Innovation School as a virtual public school that provides instruction to students through distance learning, including online learning programs and courses, subject to regulations adopted by the board of elementary and secondary education.

              (f)  The following shall be eligible applicants for the purposes of establishing an Innovation School: (i) parents; (ii) teachers; (iii) parent-teacher organizations; (iv) principals; (v) superintendents; (vi) school committees; (vii) teacher unions; (viii) colleges and universities; (ix) non-profit community-based organizations; (x) non-profit business or corporate entities; (xi) non-profit charter school operators; (xii) non-profit education management organizations; (xii) educational collaboratives; (xiv)  consortia of these groups; and (xv) non-profit entities authorized by the commissioner.  Private and parochial schools shall not be eligible to operate an Innovation School.

              (g) The local school committee, local teacher’s union and superintendent of the district shall  follow a process, consistent with this subsection and subsections (h) to (o), inclusive, for which an existing district school may be converted to an Innovation School or by which a new Innovation School may be established within the district.   This process shall require that an eligible applicant proposing to establish an Innovation School prepare a prospectus regarding the proposed school.  The prospectus shall include, but not be limited to, a description of: (i) whether the school will be a new school or a conversion of an existing school; (ii) if the school is a new school, the proposed location of the school; (iii) if the school is a conversion of an existing school, the school that is being proposed for conversion; (iv) the external partners, if any, that will be involved in the school; (v) the number of students the school is anticipated to serve and the number of staff expected to be employed at the school; (vi) the overall vision for the school, including improving school performance and student achievement; (vii) specific needs or challenges the school shall be designed to address; (viii) a preliminary assessment of the autonomy and flexibility under subsection (b) that the school will seek; (ix) why such flexibility is desirable to carry out the objectives of the school; (x) anticipated components of the school’s innovation plan; (xi) a preliminary description of the process that shall be used to involve appropriate stakeholders in the development of the innovation plan; and (xii) a proposed timetable for development and establishment of the proposed school.

              (h)  Upon completion of the prospectus under subsection (g), an eligible applicant shall submit the prospectus to the superintendent, who shall within 30 days convene a screening committee consisting of the superintendent or a designee, a school committee member or a designee selected by the school committee and a representative from the leadership of the local teacher’s union.

The screening committee shall review the prospectus for the purpose of determining whether the prospectus: (i) presents a sound and coherent plan for improving school performance and student achievement; (ii) supports or enhances existing educational efforts in the district; and (iii) reasonably can be expanded into a comprehensive innovation plan.  In the case of a new school, the committee will prepare an impact statement describing how the new school will affect the children and faculty in the district.   Within 30 days of receiving a prospectus, the screening committee shall decide, on the basis of a two-thirds vote, to accept or reject the prospectus, or return the prospectus to the eligible applicant for revisions.  If a prospectus is rejected or returned, the screening committee shall submit a detailed explanation for the decision to the applicant.  A prospectus that is rejected or returned may be revised and resubmitted for subsequent consideration.

              (i)  Upon the acceptance of a prospectus by the screening committee under subsection (h), the applicant shall form an innovation plan committee of not more than 11 individuals within 30 days.  The purpose of the innovation plan committee shall be to: (i) develop the innovation plan described in subsection (c); (ii) assure that appropriate stakeholders are represented in the development of the proposed Innovation School; and (iii) provide meaningful opportunities for the stakeholders to contribute to the development of such school.  The size and composition of the innovation plan committee shall be determined by the applicant; provided, however, that the committee shall include: (i) the applicant; (ii) the superintendent or a designee; (iii) a school committee member or a designee; (iv) a parent who has 1 or more children enrolled in the school, or in the case of a new school, from the district; (v) a principal employed by the district; and (vi) 2 teachers employed by the district.  The applicant shall select the parent from among nominees submitted by parent-teacher organizations in the district.  If the district does not contain a parent-teacher organization or if the organization does not submit nominees, the applicant shall select the parent from among volunteers in the area or community the proposed school is expected to serve.  The applicant shall select the principal and 1 teacher from among volunteers in the district and 1 teacher from among nominees submitted by the local teacher’s union. 

              (j) Upon the formation of the innovation plan committee in subsection (i), the committee shall develop the innovation plan for the proposed Innovation School.  The purpose of the innovation plan shall be to comprehensively articulate the areas of autonomy and flexibility under subsection (b) that the proposed school will use.  The innovation plan shall include, but not be limited to: (i) a curriculum plan, which shall include a detailed description of the curriculum and related programs for the proposed school and how the curriculum is expected to improve school performance and student achievement; (ii) a budget plan, which shall include a detailed description of how funds shall be used differently in the proposed school to support school performance and student achievement; (iii) a school schedule plan, which shall include a detailed description of the ways, if any, the program or calendar of the proposed school will be enhanced or expanded; (iv) a staffing plan, which shall include a detailed description of how the school principal, administrators, faculty and staff will be recruited, employed, evaluated and compensated in the proposed school and any proposed waivers or modifications of collective bargaining agreements;  (v) a policy and procedures plan, which shall include a detailed description of the unique operational policies and procedures to be used by the proposed school and how the procedures shall support school performance and student achievement; and (vi) a professional development plan, which shall include a detailed description of how the school may provide high-quality professional development to its administrators, teachers and staff.

              In order to assess the proposed school across multiple measures of school performance and student success, the innovation plan shall include measurable annual goals including, but not limited to, the following: (i) student attendance; (ii) student safety and discipline; (iii) student promotion and graduation and dropout rates; (iv) student achievement on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System; (v) progress in areas of academic underperformance; and (vi) progress among subgroups of students, including low-income students as defined by chapter 70, limited English-proficient students and students receiving special education ; (7) reduction of achievement gaps among different groups of students .

              A majority vote of the innovation plan committee shall be required for approval of the innovation plan.

              (k) The provisions of the collective bargaining agreements applicable to the administrators, teachers and staff in the school shall be considered to be in operation at an Innovation School, except to the extent the provisions are waived or modified under the innovation plan and such waivers or modifications are approved under subsections (l) and (m).

              (l) In the case of a school conversion, upon completion of the innovation plan in subsection (j), , the applicant shall submit the innovation plan to teachers in the school that is proposed for conversion for approval by secret ballot within 30 days.  A two-thirds vote of the teachers shall be required to approve the plan.  Upon approval of an innovation plan by the applicable union members the plan shall, within 7 days, be submitted to the schoolcommittee.  If a two-thirds vote is not achieved, the innovation plan committee may revise the innovation plan as necessary and submit the revised plan to the teachers for a subsequent vote.

              In the case of a new school, upon the completion of the innovation plan in subsection (j), the applicant, a local union and the superintendent shall negotiate waivers or modifications to the applicable collective bargaining agreement necessary for the school to implement the innovation plan.  Upon the conclusion of the negotiations, the innovation plan shall be submitted immediately to the school committee.  If the negotiations have not resulted in an agreement within 40 days, either party may petition the division of labor relations for the selection of an arbitrator.  The division shall select an arbitrator within 3 days of the petition from a list submitted by the parties.  The arbitrator shall conduct a hearing within 14 days of the arbitrator’s selection.  The arbitrator shall consider the parties’ positions and the needs of the students in the district.  The arbitrator’s decision shall be consistent with the contents of the innovation plan developed by the applicant.  The arbitrator shall, within 14 days of the close of the hearing, submit a decision which shall be final and binding on the parties.

              (m) Upon receipt of an innovation plan regarding an Innovation School, a school committee shall hold at least 1 public hearing on the innovation plan.   After the public hearing, but not later than 60 days after the receipt of the innovation plan, the school committee shall, on the basis of the quality of the plan and in consideration of comments submitted by the public, undertake a final vote to authorize the Innovation School for a period of not more than 5 years, subject to subsection (n).  Approval of the majority of the school committee as fully constituted shall be required to authorize an Innovation School.  If the approval is not obtained, an innovation plan committee may revise the innovation plan and: (i) in the case of a new school, submit the revised plan  to the school committee for a subsequent vote; or (ii) in the case of a conversion, submit the revised plan to the teachers in the school that is proposed for conversion for a vote, pursuant to subsection (l); provided, however, that the plan meets the requirements for approval under subsection (l), submit the revised plan to the school committee for a subsequent vote.  A school committee shall vote on a revised plan submitted pursuant to this subsection within 60 days of the receipt of such plan and contract.

              (n) All Innovation Schools authorized under subsection (m) shall be evaluated by the superintendent at least annually.  The superintendent shall transmit the evaluation to the school committee and the commissioner of elementary and secondary education.  The purpose of the evaluation shall be to determine whether the school has met the annual goals in its innovation plan and assess the implementation of the innovation plan at the school.  If the school committee determines, on the advice of the superintendent, that the school has not met 1 or more goals in the innovation plan and that the failure to meet the goals may be corrected through reasonable modification of the plan, the school committee may amend the innovation plan as necessary.  After the superintendent assesses the implementation of the innovation plan at the school, the school committee may, on the advice of the superintendent, amend the plan if the school committee determines that the amendment is necessary in view of subsequent changes in the district that affect 1 or more components of the plan, including, but not limited to, changes to contracts, collective bargaining agreements or school district policies; provided, however, that an amendment involving a subsequent change to a teacher contract shall first be approved by teachers at the school under the procedures in subsection (l).

              If the school committee determines, on the advice of the superintendent, that the school has substantially failed to meet multiple goals in the innovation plan, the school committee may: (i) limit 1 or more components of the innovation plan; (ii) suspend 1 or more components of the innovation plan; or (iii) terminate the authorization of the school; provided, however, that the limitation or suspension shall not take place before the completion of the second full year of the operation of the school and the termination shall not take place before the completion of the third full year of the operation of the school.

              (o) At the end of the period of authorization of an Innovation School approved under subsection (m), the leadership of the school may petition the school committee to extend the authorization of the school for an additional period of not more than 5 years.  Before submitting the petition, the leadership of the school shall convene a selection of school stakeholders, including, but not limited to, administrators, teachers, other school staff, parents and external partners, as applicable, to discuss whether the innovation plan at the school requires revision and to solicit recommendations as to the potential revisions.  After considering the recommendations of the stakeholder group, the leadership of the school and the applicable superintendent shall jointly update the innovation plan as necessary; provided, however, that a proposal regarding a new waiver or exemption from the local teacher’s union contract shall be approved by teachers at the school, under subsection (l).  Approval of the majority of the school committee as fully constituted shall be required to extend the period of authorization of an Innovation School.  If the approval is not obtained, the leadership of the school and superintendent may jointly revise the innovation plan and submit the revised plan to the school committee for a subsequent vote.  If the school committee does not extend the authorization of the school, the leadership of the school may seek the authorization from the board of elementary and secondary education.  The board shall vote on the requested extension within 60 days of its receipt for approval of such extension.

              (p) The commissioner of elementary and secondary education shall, to the extent practicable, be responsible for the following: (i) the provision of planning and implementation grants to eligible applicants to establish Innovation Schools; (ii) provision of technical assistance and support to eligible applicants; (iii) the collection and publication of data and research related to the Innovation Schools initiative; (iv) the collection and publication of data and research related to successful programs serving limited English-proficient students attending Innovation Schools; and (v) the collection and dissemination of best practices in Innovation Schools that may be adopted by other public schools.  The board of elementary and secondary education shall promulgate regulations necessary to carry out this section.  Annually, the commissioner shall report to the joint committee on education, the house and senate committees on ways and means, the speaker of the house of representatives and the senate president on the implementation and fiscal impact of this section.

              SECTION 9 .   For the school districts in which net school spending on charter school tuition does not exceed 18 per cent as set forth in subsection (i) of section 89 of chapter 71, the following shall apply: (1) in fiscal year 2011, a public school district’s total charter school tuition payment to commonwealth charter schools shall be limited to 12 per cent of the district’s net school spending; (2) in fiscal year 2012, a public school district’s total charter school tuition payment to commonwealth charter schools shall be limited to 13 per cent of the district’s net school spending; (3) in fiscal year 2013, a public school district’s total charter school tuition payment to commonwealth charter schools shall be limited to 14 per cent of the district’s net school spending; (4) in fiscal year 2014, a public school district’s total charter school tuition payment to commonwealth charter schools shall be limited to 15 per cent of the district’s net school spending; (5) in fiscal year 2015, a public school district’s total charter school tuition payment to commonwealth charter schools shall be limited to 16 per cent of the district’s net school spending; (6) in fiscal year 2016, a public school district’s total charter tuition payment to commonwealth charter schools shall be limited to 17 per cent of the district’s net school spending; and (7) in fiscal year 2017, a public school district’s total charter tuition payment to commonwealth charter schools shall be limited to 18 per cent of the district’s net school spending. 

SECTION 1 0 . Within 6 months of the receipt of any federal funding through Race to the Top program realized through the adoption of this act, the executive office of education shall report to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on education a detailed plan providing for the use and potential future uses of the funding along with an accounting therein.

              SECTION 1 1 . Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary , the department of elementary and secondary education shall draft a model policy for school districts regarding the grade placement and eligibility for high school graduation of students leaving a commonwealth charter school and seeking to enroll in a district school.  In drafting the model policy, the department shall confer with school districts and commonwealth charter schools.  The model policy shall be made available not later than December 31, 2010.  Until a school district adopts a policy regarding the grade placement or eligibility for high school graduation of students leaving a commonwealth charter school, when determining the appropriate grade placement or eligibility for high school graduation of a student leaving a commonwealth charter school and enrolling in a district school, a district shall examine the course of study and level of academic attainment of the student. 

SECTION 1 2 . Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a charter school whose charter was granted before January 1, 2010 shall have a recruitment and retention plan required under subsection (f) of section 89 of chapter 71 of the General Laws in effect for the 2011-2012 school year or at the time of its next charter renewal, whichever occurs first.

SECTION 1 3 . Notwithstanding subsection ( gg ) of section 89 of chapter 71 of the General Laws, any district that incurred an increase in commonwealth charter tuition costs between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2010 shall be reimbursed in an amount equal to 100 per cent of the increase in the year in which the increase occurs, 60 per cent of that amount in the first year following and 40 per cent of that amount in the second year following.

SECTION 1 4 . Notwithstanding any special or general law to the contrary, the department of elementary and secondary education shall study the possibility of allowing students living outside of the commonwealth who are eligible to attend public schools operating in the same geographic area as a charter school or a regional charter school to be eligible to attend the charter or regional charter school.  The department shall examine the rules and regulations necessary to implement this change which shall include, but not be limited to, collection of out-of-state tuition from students living outside of the commonwealth and attending a commonwealth charter school, collection of tuition from foreign exchange students attending a commonwealth charter school and reimbursement of commonwealth charter schools for services rendered to foreign exchange students and students living outside of the commonwealth .  The department shall issue its report and its recommendations , if any, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry those recommendations into effect to the joint committee on education not later than August 15, 2010.

SECTION 1 5 .   Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, regional school transportation payments made by the state in any fiscal year through the general appropriations act shall not be lowered by a greater percentage than any reduction made to state chapter 70 payments in that fiscal year.

              SECTION 1 6 .    Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the department of elementary and secondary education shall prepare a report on the current status of the public education financing system in the commonwealth as it currently exists.  The report shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following: (1) the source of and potential remedies for any existing discrepancies between the fiscal demands placed upon and the fiscal assistance provided to municipalities and school districts with similar fiscal capacity and educational responsibilities, including those placed and provided pursuant to chapter 70;  (2) a consideration and evaluation of all the financial resources made available to schools and districts, from all sources, and how they relate to student learning and educational opportunity; and (3) a review of successful educational programs in schools and school districts that achieve their success at relatively lower per pupil costs when compared with schools and districts serving student populations with similar academic and socio-economic characteristics and an assessment of  the possibility of replicating such programs in other schools and school districts.  In compiling the report, the department shall consult with various education personnel, advocacy organizations, and economic experts.  The department shall file said report not later than December 31, 2011 to the joint committee on education.

SECTION 1 7 .   By January 1, 2011, the commissioner of elementary and secondary education shall make a report to the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on education on the department’s plan to implement the inclusion of improvement in student academic achievement data, as required under sections 1J and1K of chapter 69 of the General Laws .

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