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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Virtual Schools - Final Adoption of Regulations for Commonwealth of Massachusetts Virtual Schools, 603 CMR 52.00; Technical Amendment to Special Education Regulations, 603 CMR 28.00; and Repeal of Regulations on Virtual Innovation Schools, 603 CMR 48.00

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
March 14, 2014

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Enclosed with this memorandum, for final adoption, are the Regulations for Commonwealth of Massachusetts Virtual Schools, 603 CMR 52.00, accompanying technical amendments to the Special Education Regulations, 603 CMR 28.00, and amendments to repeal the "virtual innovation school" provisions of the Innovation School Regulations, 603 CMR 48.00. In December 2013, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board) voted to solicit public comment on these proposed regulations. Based upon the comments received, I recommend a number of revisions to the proposed regulations for Commonwealth of Massachusetts Virtual Schools that you sent out for comment.

During the drafting stage, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) discussed these proposed regulations with and solicited feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, including the Digital Learning Advisory Council, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the American Federation of Teachers-Massachusetts, virtual schools currently holding certificates, the Massachusetts Organization of Educational Collaboratives, the Office of the State Auditor, and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. During the public comment period, the Department received written comments from seven individuals and groups with many thoughtful suggestions. Enclosed is a summary of those comments and the Department's responses.

The revisions we have made to the proposed regulations for Commonwealth of Massachusetts Virtual Schools (CMVS), based upon the public comment, are largely to clarify a few provisions that were ambiguous. Two of the more substantive changes are:

  • additional language to differentiate how members of boards of trustees are appointed for statewide virtual schools, as opposed to those that enroll only students from specified school districts; and
  • removing the provision requiring a district establishing a CMVS to pay the same fee for individual courses as every other district and adding a provision permitting the Terms of the Certificate to specify allowable discounts.

Based upon the comments received, I am not recommending any changes to the proposed amendments to the Special Education Regulations and the Innovation Schools Regulations.

Attached are: a "Brief Summary of Public Comment and Department Responses," an "Analysis and Synopsis of Public Comment," "Proposed Final Commonwealth of Massachusetts Virtual School Regulations 603 CMR 52.00" with changes indicated, the "Proposed Final Amendments to Special Education Regulations 603 CMR 28.00," the "Proposed Final Amendments to Innovation Schools Regulations 603 CMR 48.00," and a motion to adopt the regulations.

If you have any questions on the proposed changes to these regulations, please contact Cliff Chuang, Associate Commissioner at 781-338-3222; Luis Rodriguez, Director of the Office of Digital Learning at 781-338-3247; or me.

Attachments:

Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Brief Summary of Public Comment and Department Responses
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Analysis and Synopsis of Public Comment (all public comments available upon request)
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Proposed Final Commonwealth of Massachusetts Virtual School Regulations 603 CMR 52.00
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Proposed Final Amendments to Special Education Regulations 603 CMR 28.00
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Proposed Final Amendments to Innovation Schools Regulations 603 CMR 48.00
 
Motion


Last Updated: March 20, 2014
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