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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Briefing for the August 15, 2017 Special Meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Jeff Wulfson, Acting Commissioner
Date:
August 4, 2017

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The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's offices at 75 Pleasant Street in Malden. The special meeting will start at 9:00 a.m. (coffee will be available at 8:30 a.m.) and should adjourn by 11:00 a.m. If you need overnight accommodations or any additional information about the schedule, please call Helene Bettencourt at (781) 338-3120.

Overview

Following the tragic and untimely passing of Commissioner Mitchell Chester, Chair Sagan has convened this two-hour special meeting for the Board to discuss Commissioner Chester's leadership and legacy, and the process for moving forward to select a new commissioner of elementary and secondary education. The agenda for the special meeting also includes brief updates on the ESSA state plan, Southbridge Public Schools, the FY2018 budget, and a vote on the acting commissioner's salary. Because this is a special meeting and time is limited, the Board will not be taking statements from the public on August 15.

Regular Meeting

Comments from the Chair
Comments from the Acting Commissioner
Comments from the Secretary

Chair Sagan, Secretary Peyser, and I may each brief the Board on current issues and activities.

Items for Discussion and Action

  1. Update on ESSA State Plan - Discussion

    We submitted our proposed state plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) in early April 2017, following our discussion at the Board's March 28 meeting. In July, ED provided us with informal feedback on the plan. At the special meeting on August 15, we will discuss the feedback from ED and our proposed responses. Rob Curtin and Matt Pakos, who have led the development of the state plan, will join us for the discussion.

  2. Update on Southbridge Public Schools - Discussion

    Senior Associate Commissioner Russell Johnston has been serving as interim receiver in Southbridge since May 31, working with staff from the school district and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to carry out the district turnaround plan and prepare for a strong start to the new school year. He will update the Board on August 15.

  3. Budget Update - Discussion

    Senior Associate Commissioner/CFO Bill Bell and I will update the Board on the latest information we have on the state education budget for FY2018 as well as the outlook for federal funding.

  4. Commissioner Search Process - Discussion

    Chair Sagan will lead the Board in discussing Commissioner Chester's leadership and legacy, and the process for moving forward to select a new commissioner.

  5. Salary for Acting Commissioner - Discussion and Vote

    Chair Sagan will present a memo and motion asking the Board to establish a salary for the acting commissioner, consistent with the Board's authority under Mass. General Laws chapter 15, section 1F: "The commissioner shall receive a salary to be set by the board."

If you have questions about any agenda items, please call me. I look forward to seeing you at the special meeting in Malden on August 15.



Last Updated: June 26, 2017
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