Section 35. There is hereby established a professional development schools grant program. The board of education shall award grants to exemplary public schools and to cooperating public or private institutions of higher education in the commonwealth to establish collaborative programs for the purpose of fostering improved teacher training and professional development. In order to be eligible for a professional development school grant a school in cooperation with one or more public or private institutions of higher education shall jointly submit a program application which shall include, but not be limited to, a statement of program objectives covering a three year period, a program plan with specific timelines for implementation, and a plan for program evaluation. The program designated in the application must be approved by the faculty of the institution of higher education, the teachers, administrators and other professional staff of the public school, the superintendent of schools and by majority vote of the school committee and school improvement council. The board of education shall give priority to those programs in which the teacher training and professional development activities will take place in the public school.
Grants awarded under this section, to the extent that said funds are allocated to the public school, shall be deposited with the town, city, or regional district treasurer in a separate account to be expended, without further appropriation, by the school committee for the purposes of the professional development schools grant.
The board of education may contract with any public institution of higher education or nonprofit corporation, which has the requisite knowledge and experience in teacher training for the purpose of administering the professional development schools grant program.