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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Amendments to Charter School Regulations, 603 CMR 1.00

To:Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:May 20, 2010

The recently-enacted education reform law (St. 2010, c.12) included significant amendments to the Commonwealth's charter school statute (G.L. c.71, §89). In March 2010 I presented to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education proposed changes to the charter school regulations to address new provisions in the statute. The Board voted to solicit public comment on the proposed changes to the regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. We received many thoughtful comments. Not surprisingly, given the controversial nature of this topic, the comments covered a wide range of views, some contrary to others. We have carefully reviewed all the comments that we received and have provided them to the Board. We made a number of revisions to the regulations in response to the comments, as well as additional edits for clarity, completeness, and consistency with the statute. I am presenting the revised regulations to the Board for a final vote at the May 25th meeting.

These new regulations cover the changes in the charter school statute that require clarification or implementing provisions, such as: identification of districts eligible for the higher spending caps; the definition of "proven provider"; criteria for the new categories of Horace Mann charters; provisions relating to recruitment and enrollment; and calculation of surplus assets.

Many of the other changes to the charter school statute do not require clarifying regulations and have already been implemented. For example, the materials that we presented to the Board on proposed new charter schools at the February 2010 Board meeting complied with the new standards for transparency and accountability in the charter approval process.

In view of the intense interest in the new provisions, such as the definition of "proven provider," I plan to convene a stakeholder group that will work with the Department over the next year to review how these new regulations are working. I will report back to the Board on this in 2011, including a recommendation on whether any changes in the regulations are warranted based on the first year's experience.

We received comments and suggested revisions to the March version of the proposed regulations from 19 sources. The Board received copies of the letters of comment in the package that we sent to you on May 14th. Enclosed are the following items:

  • List of those who submitted comments
  • Comment letters (previously provided to the Board in May 14th mailing)
  • Summary and analysis of comments and the Department's responses
  • Proposed final regulations - a clean copy and a copy showing changes from the March 2010 public comment version of the proposed amendments
  • Statute: M.G.L. Chapter 71, Section 89, as amended by Chapter 12 of the Acts of 2010
  • Motion to adopt regulations

Associate Commissioner Jeff Wulfson and Director of Charter Schools Mary Street will be present at the May 25th meeting to answer any questions.

Attachments

View HTML Page
List of those who submitted comments
 
Comment letters (previously provided to the Board in May 14th mailing)
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Summary and analysis of comments and the Department's responses
 
Proposed final regulations – a clean copy and a copy showing changes from the March 2010 public comment version of the proposed amendments
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Statute: M.G.L. Chapter 71, Section 89, as amended by Chapter 12 of the Acts of 2010
 
Motion to adopt regulations


Last Updated: May 24, 2010
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