Session Law

2014

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Chapter 283 AN ACT FURTHER REGULATING REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT PLANNING COMMITTEES

     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.  Subsection (s) of section 1J of chapter 69 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following 2 sentences:- A receiver for a chronically underperforming school shall not be required by contract to indemnify and hold harmless the commonwealth against any and all claims, liabilities and costs which arise out of the receiver’s performance of its role in the creation or implementation of the turnaround plan.  In connection with the performance of its role in the creation or implementation of the turnaround plan, the receiver may: (i) sue and be sued only to the same extent and upon the same conditions that a municipality may be sued; (ii) receive and disburse funds for the chronically underperforming school; and (iii) solicit and accept grants or gifts for the chronically underperforming school.
     SECTION 2.  The second paragraph of subsection (a) of section 1K of said chapter 69, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following 2 sentences:- A receiver for a chronically underperforming district shall not be required by contract to indemnify and hold harmless the commonwealth against any and all claims, liabilities and costs which arise out of the receiver’s performance of its role in the creation or implementation of the turnaround plan.  In connection with the performance of its role in the creation or implementation of the turnaround plan, the receiver may: (i) sue and be sued only to the same extent and upon the same conditions that a municipality may be sued; (ii) receive and disburse funds for the chronically underperforming district; and (iii) solicit and accept grants or gifts for the district.
     SECTION 3.  Chapter 71 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 14, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
     Section 14.  Any town, either by a majority vote of its board of selectmen and a majority vote of the school committee or by vote in town meeting duly called therefor, may create a special unpaid committee to be known as a regional school district planning committee, to consist of 3 members, including 1 member of the school committee to be appointed by the moderator. At the same meeting or at a subsequent meeting, the town may appropriate for the expense of the regional school district planning committee such sums, not exceeding 1/10 of 1 per cent of the assessed valuation of such town in the preceding year, as it may deem necessary.  Regional school district planning committees from any 2 or more towns may join together to form a regional school district planning board.  Such regional school district planning board shall organize forthwith upon its formation by the election of a chairman and secretary-treasurer.
     SECTION 4.  Subsection (i) of section 89 of chapter 71 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-
     (4)  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, if a district qualifying under paragraph (3) is no longer in the lowest 10 per cent, the net school spending cap shall be 9 per cent; provided, however, that if the board of elementary and secondary education previously approved a higher level of enrollment for a charter school in the district while the district was in the lowest 10 per cent, the net school spending cap shall remain at the level necessary to support such enrollment.  This paragraph shall apply only to charter school enrollments approved before July 1, 2014.

Approved, August 11, 2014.