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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Rescission of Obsolete Regulations: 603 CMR 6.00 (Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants); 603 CMR 38.00 (School Construction Grants), 603 CMR 45.00 (Agricultural High Schools)

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
June 17, 2016

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On April 26, 2016, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to solicit public comment on the proposed rescission of four sets of obsolete regulations: 603 CMR 3.00 (Private Occupational Schools); 603 CMR 6.00 (Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants); 603 CMR 38.00 (School Construction Grants), and 603 CMR 45.00 (Agricultural High Schools). This action is part of our review of regulations under our jurisdiction in accordance with Governor Baker's Executive Order EO562. We determined that the regulations listed above should be rescinded because they are obsolete due to changes in state law and practice.

Following the Board's vote in April, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education invited public comment on three of the four proposed regulatory actions, as required by the state Administrative Procedure Act. (We are deferring action to rescind 603 CMR 3.00, Private Occupational Schools, so that we can coordinate the timing with the Division of Professional Licensure, which now regulates private occupational schools and will be filing new regulations.)

The Department received no comments on the proposed rescission of 603 CMR 6.00 (Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants), 603 CMR 38.00 (School Construction Grants), or 603 CMR 45.00 (Agricultural High Schools). That is not surprising, given that these regulations are obsolete. Accordingly, I recommend that the Board vote on June 28, 2016, to rescind these three sets of regulations. Here is a summary on each one:

603 CMR 6.00, Teacher Quality Enhancement. The Board adopted the Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant regulations in 1998. From 1998-2003, the Department used the regulations to implement the state-funded "incoming teacher signing bonus program," per G.L. c. 15A, §19B, and the "master teacher corps program," per G.L. c. 15A, §19C1. The Legislature established these programs in 1998. The programs and the funding appropriation for them ended in 2003. While the statutes remain on the books, the programs have been unfunded for thirteen years. If the Legislature decides in the future to restore funding for these particular programs, the Board and Department can determine at that point whether new regulations are needed or whether, as with most other grant programs, administrative guidelines would suffice.

603 CMR 38.00, School Construction. The Board adopted the School Construction Grant regulations in the mid-20th century and last amended them in 2004. From 1949-2000, the Department used the criteria and process set forth in the regulations to award state grant funds to cities, towns, and regional school districts for construction and major renovation of public school buildings, per St. 1948, c. 645, as amended. In 2000, G.L. c. 70B was enacted, and it was amended in 2004. It superseded St. 1948, c. 645, as amended, and transferred the state school building program from the Board and Department to the newly-created Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), which now oversees and regulates all school building assistance in the Commonwealth.

The Board and Department retained 603 CMR 38.00 for some years after the MSBA adopted its own regulations, to allow completion of proceedings relating to school building projects that were "in the pipeline" under the former regulations. In 2015, the MSBA general counsel confirmed in an email to our general counsel that 603 CMR 38.00 is now obsolete and can be rescinded.

603 CMR 45.00, Independent Agricultural and Technical Institutes. The Board adopted these regulations in 2000, pursuant to G.L. c.74A, § 21, a statute that the Legislature has since repealed. The regulations applied only to the Essex Agricultural and Technical Institute, which ceased to exist when it merged with North Shore Vocational Regional School District to create the Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School District, as a result of the enactment of St. 2004, c. 463, and St. 2010, c. 130. The regulations do not apply to the newly formed school district. G.L. Chapter 74A, §21 (and Chapter 74A in its entirety) was repealed by section 1 of Chapter 463 of the Acts of 2004. The repeal took effect on July 1, 2010, preceding the opening of the newly formed Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School District. Consequently, these regulations are obsolete and should be rescinded.

Attached are motions to rescind these three sets of regulations. If you need any additional information, please contact me, Deputy Commissioner Jeff Wulfson, or General Counsel Rhoda Schneider. They will be at the June 28 Board meeting to respond to your questions.


Attachments:

Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
603 CMR 6.00 (Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants) proposed for rescission
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
603 CMR 38.00 (School Construction Grants) proposed for rescission
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
603 CMR 45.00 (Agricultural High Schools) proposed for rescission
Motions

Note:

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Last Updated: June 22, 2016
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