Education Laws and Regulations
603 CMR 50.00
50.10: Probationary Status, Suspension, and Revocation
(1) Probationary Status:
- (a) The Commissioner may place an educational collaborative on probationary status upon receipt of information which, in the opinion of the Commissioner:
- compromises the collaborative's ability to provide a safe, healthy, and appropriate educational environment;
- indicates a failure to comply with legal and regulatory requirements relating to the collaborative's delivery of services to students;
- indicates the presence of circumstances that impede an educational collaborative's viability;
- demonstrates inability or refusal to comply with provisions of M.G.L. c. 40, § 4E or 603 CMR 50.00;
- demonstrates deficiencies in programmatic quality of the collaborative; or
- demonstrates significant malfeasance, financial or otherwise, by any appointed representative of the collaborative board of directors or any employee of the educational collaborative.
- (b) The Commissioner shall provide written notification to the board of directors and to the chairs and superintendents of the member districts of the probationary status, the circumstance(s) that caused the Commissioner to take such action, and the actions necessary to correct the problem. Upon a determination by the Commissioner that the health or safety of students is at risk, the Commissioner will order the collaborative board of directors to undertake emergency steps to immediately remedy the circumstances and will monitor the collaborative to ensure compliance with the directive.
- (c) A collaborative placed on probationary status shall submit a remedial plan to the Department for approval by the Commissioner within 20 days of being notified that it is on probationary status. Such remedial plan shall outline the steps to be taken by the collaborative to correct the circumstance(s) causing the probationary status. The collaborative remedial plan shall be provided to each member district and approved by the collaborative board of directors before it is submitted to the Department. The Department shall monitor the collaborative's progress in meeting the goals of the remedial plan.
- (d) If after 60 days, or such other period as the Commissioner may specify, said remedial plan is unsuccessful in remedying the circumstance(s) leading to probation or alleviating the cause(s) of the probation, the Commissioner may take one or more of the following actions:
- direct school districts and charter schools to withhold payments of public funds to the collaborative;
- in consultation with the Secretary of Administration and Finance, withhold state funds being directed to the collaborative; and/or
- recommend that the Board suspend or revoke approval of the collaborative's written agreement in accordance with 603 CMR 50.10(2).
(2) Suspension or Revocation:
- (a) The Board, upon notice to the collaborative board of directors and the member districts, may immediately suspend the operation of a collaborative or one or more of its programs if the health or safety of students is at risk.
- (b) The Board may suspend or revoke approval of an educational collaborative agreement for cause, including, but not limited to:
- a material misrepresentation in the application for approval of the collaborative agreement or amendment to the agreement;
- failure to comply substantially with the terms of the collaborative agreement, with any of the provisions of M.G.L. c. 40, § 4E, CMR 50.00, or with any other applicable law or regulation;
- financial insolvency;
- misappropriation or mismanagement of funds or illegally withholding of funds or refusal to pay any funds that belong to any person or entity otherwise entitled thereto and that have been entrusted to the collaborative board of directors or its administrators in their fiduciary capacities;
- fraud or gross mismanagement on the part of the collaborative board of directors or administrators, including but not limited to mismanagement of the educational programs and failure to provide a healthy and safe environment for students;
- criminal convictions on the part of any administrator or appointed representative on the board of directors;
- information gathered from audits, onsite visits or reviews, or any other source that demonstrates that the collaborative has serious programmatic or fiscal issues; and/or
- failure to fulfill any conditions imposed by the Board in connection with the approval of the agreement or a remedial plan pursuant to 603 CMR 50.10.
- (c) The Board shall notify the collaborative board of directors, the member districts, and the member districts' superintendents in writing of its intent to suspend or revoke approval of the collaborative agreement. A vote of intent to suspend or revoke approval shall operate as a notice of the action and does not operate as an order to show cause. The Board shall send the notice 60 days before the suspension or revocation takes effect, except when approval is being suspended under 603 CMR 50.10(2)(a).
- (d) Upon receiving a notice of intent to suspend or revoke approval of an educational collaborative agreement, the collaborative shall have all rights of review required by M.G.L. c. 30A, § 13, and 801 CMR 1.00. All requests for hearings, where hearings are provided by said statute, shall be in writing, addressed to the Board, and must be received within 15 days of receipt by the collaborative board of directors of the notice of intent to revoke or suspend approval. At such hearing, the collaborative board of directors shall bear the burden of proof and present its case first.
- (e) A collaborative that has received a notice of intent to revoke approval of its agreement shall immediately begin planning for termination of the collaborative by providing notice to member districts and non-member districts.
- (f) A collaborative must cease operating upon the revocation of the approval of its collaborative agreement and comply with the termination procedures set forth in 603 CMR 50.11(1)(2).
M.G.L. c. 69, §1B, and M.G.L. c. 40, § 4E