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Section 12A. The school committee of any city or town or any regional district school committee may adopt a plan for attendance at its schools by any child who resides in another city, town, or regional school district in which racial imbalance, as defined in section thirty-seven D of chapter seventy-one, exists in a public school. Such plan shall tend to eliminate such racial imbalance, shall be consistent with the purposes of said section thirty-seven D, and shall include an estimate of the expenses necessary to implement such plan. Such school committee or regional district school committee shall file a copy of such plan and the vote by which it was adopted with the board of education, in this section called the board. The board shall approve or disapprove such plan within ninety days after the date of such filing. If it disapproves such plan, it shall state the reasons therefor. If it approves such plan, the board, acting through the commissioner of education and on behalf of the commonwealth, shall enter into an agreement with such school committee or regional district school committee providing that such school committee or regional district school committee shall accept for attendance at its schools non-resident children as provided by such plan and that the commonwealth shall provide financial assistance to such city, town, or regional district school committee as provided by this section; provided, however, that such agreement may provide that such school committee or regional district school committee waives all or any part of such financial assistance. No such school committee or regional district school committee shall be required to implement any such plan unless and until it and the board have entered into such an agreement providing for the amount of financial assistance and the terms on which such assistance shall be provided.

Any child residing in any city, town, or regional school district and attending therein a public school in which such racial imbalance exists may attend a public school or a publicly authorized non-sectarian school in a city, town, or regional school district in which he does not reside if the school committee of such city or town or the committee of such regional school district has adopted and the board has approved, as provided by this section, a plan for the attendance of such non-resident children therein.

The commonwealth shall, subject to appropriation and upon certification by the board, provide financial assistance in accordance with such agreement. Such financial assistance shall include payments for: (i) the cost per pupil of educating each non-resident child, as approved by the board; (ii) the cost of transportation of each such child, as approved by the board; and (iii) the cost, as approved by the board, of special education services provided to each such child determined to be in need of such services pursuant to chapter seventy-one B. The board shall, by regulation, define the special education costs eligible for such financial assistance.

The board shall provide technical and other assistance to any city, town, or regional school district in the formulation and implementation of any such plan. A school committee, regional district school committee, or the board may accept, for the purpose of implementing any such plan, gifts, grants, or contributions from any source, whether public or private. Any gift, grant, or contribution so accepted by a school committee of a city or town or a regional district school committee for such purpose shall be deposited with the treasurer of such city, town, or regional school district and held in a separate account and may be expended without further appropriation, notwithstanding the provisions of section fifty-three of chapter forty-four.

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