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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 8: Interstate commission on educational opportunity for military children

Section 8. The compacting states hereby create the interstate commission on educational opportunity for military children. The activities of the interstate commission are the formation of public policy and are a discretionary state function. The interstate commission shall:

(a) be a body corporate and joint agency of the member states and shall have all the responsibilities, powers and duties set forth in this compact and additional powers as may be conferred upon it by a subsequent concurrent action of the respective legislatures of the member states under the terms of this compact;

(b) consist of 1 interstate commission voting representative from each member state who shall be that state's compact commissioner;

(c) entitle each member state represented at a meeting of the interstate commission to 1 vote;

(d) require a majority of the total member states to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, unless a larger quorum is required by the by-laws of the interstate commission;

(e) prohibit the delegation of a vote from 1 member state to another member state; provided, however, that in the event the compact commissioner is unable to attend a meeting of the interstate commission, the governor or state council may delegate voting authority to another person from their state for a specified meeting;

(f) allow the by-laws to provide for meetings of the interstate commission to be conducted by telecommunication or electronic communication;

(g) consist of ex-officio, non-voting representatives who are members of interested organizations, as defined in the by-laws, which may include, but shall not be limited to, members of the representative organizations of military family advocates, local education agency officials, parent and teacher groups, the United States Department of Defense, the Education Commission of the States, the Interstate Agreement on the Qualification of Educational Personnel and other interstate compacts affecting the education of children of military members;

(h) meet at least once each calendar year, provided, that the chairperson may call additional meetings and upon the request of a simple majority of the member states, shall call additional meetings;

(i) establish an executive committee, whose members shall include the officers of the interstate commission and such other members of the interstate commission as determined by the by-laws; provided, that members of the executive committee shall serve a 1-year term and shall be entitled to 1 vote each; provided, further, that the executive committee shall have the power to act on behalf of the interstate commission, with the exception of rulemaking during periods when the interstate commission is not in session; provided further, that the executive committee shall oversee the day-to-day activities of the administration of the compact including enforcement and compliance with the compact, its by-laws and rules and other such duties as deemed necessary; and provided further that the United States Department of Defense shall serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the executive committee;

(j) establish by-laws and rules that provide for conditions and procedures under which the interstate commission shall make its information and official records available to the public for inspection or copying; provided, that the interstate commission may exempt from disclosure the information or the official records that would adversely affect personal privacy rights or proprietary interests;

(k) give public notice of all meetings and all meetings shall be open to the public, except as set forth in the rules or as otherwise provided in the compact; provided, that the interstate commission and its committees may close a meeting, or a portion of a meeting, when the commission or committee determines by a two-thirds vote that an open meeting would likely:

(1) relate solely to the interstate commission's internal personnel practices and procedures;

(2) disclose matters specifically exempted from disclosure by federal and state statute;

(3) disclose trade secrets or commercial or financial information which is privileged or confidential;

(4) involve accusing a person of a crime or formally censuring a person;

(5) disclose information of a personal nature where disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;

(6) disclose investigative records compiled for law enforcement purposes; or

(7) relate specifically to the interstate commission's participation in a civil action or other legal proceeding;

(l) cause its legal counsel or designee to certify that a meeting may be closed and shall reference each relevant exemptible provision for any meeting or portion of a meeting which is closed under this clause; provided, that the interstate commission shall keep minutes which shall clearly describe all matters discussed in a meeting and shall provide an accurate summary of actions taken and the reasons for those actions, including a description of the views expressed and the record of a roll call vote; provided further, that all documents considered in connection with an action shall be identified in the minutes; and provided further, that all minutes and documents of a closed meeting shall remain under seal, subject to release by a majority vote of the interstate commission;

(m) collect standardized data concerning the educational transition of the children of military, National Guard or Reserve families under this compact, as directed through its rules which shall specify the data to be collected, the means of collection and data exchange and reporting requirements; provided, that such methods of data collection, exchange and reporting shall, as much as reasonably possible, conform to current technology and coordinate its information functions with the appropriate custodian of records as identified in the by-laws and rules; and

(n) create a process that permits military officials, education officials and parents to inform the interstate commission of alleged violations of the compact, its rules or when issues subject to the jurisdiction of the compact or its rules are not addressed by the state or local education agency; provided, that this section shall not be construed to create a private right of action against the interstate commission or any member state.