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Regulations on School Finance and Accountability - Proposed Amendments to 603 CMR 10.00

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
May 11, 2012


I am presenting to the Board this month, for initial discussion and a vote to solicit public comment, proposed amendments to the Regulations on School Finance and Accountability, 603 CMR 10.00. With the Board's approval, we will solicit public comment on the proposed amendments through the summer and bring them back to the Board for a final vote in September 2012.

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education last amended these regulations in June 2006, clarifying reimbursements for special education under the recently enacted "circuit breaker" statute, G.L. c. 71B, § 5A. The amendments that I am now proposing increase the threshold for extraordinary maintenance projects, clarify certain statutory provisions addressing pre-payments of special education expenses, and make certain technical corrections.

Proposed Amendments

10.02 Definitions

Increases the threshold for extraordinary maintenance projects from $100,000 per project per school, to $150,000 per project per school. Revises other definitions for clarity and consistency.

10.07 Special Education Payments and Reimbursements

In 10.07(9)(d)(4), clarifies the pre-payment of special education tuition as allowed by G.L. c. 40, 4E, and G.L. c.71, § 71D. This clarification should avoid future disputes between district and municipal officials regarding the prepayment of these expenditures across fiscal years.

Deletes the former 10.07(10) addressing direct payment by the Department of tuitions to approved private special education schools. Because special education expenses are now reimbursed differently, this provision is no longer relevant.

10.09 Transportation Reimbursement, Resident Students

Changes the reimbursement rate for low income school choice and charter school transportation. The rate currently in the regulations (10.09(2)(c) and (d)) is $0.28 per mile. While the program is not currently funded, if funding occurs in the future, the rate will be consistent with the rate for parent-provided transportation outlined in the Special Education regulations (603 CMR 28.00).

Technical Changes Throughout

Deletes references to obsolete programs and clarifies other language.

These proposed amendments are necessary to give school officials the ability to fund needed maintenance projects and to clarify the interpretation of existing statutes. If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Executive Director for School Finance and District Support, Jay Sullivan; or Deputy Commissioner Jeff Wulfson, or me.


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Summary of Proposed Changes to 603 CMR 10.00
Proposed Amendments to the School Finance Regulations

Last Updated: May 18, 2012
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