|For Immediate Release|
|Wednesday, June 5, 1996|
Massachusetts Education Commissioner Robert Antonucci Sets Schedule For Public Comment On Regulatory Relief
Malden - Massachusetts Education Commissioner Robert V. Antonucci announced today that comment on proposed changes to state education regulations, including the repeal of regulations for physical education, will be received in writing by the Department of Education through August 15 and at two public hearings in June, before final actions are taken in the fall.
On May 15, the Board of Education voted to endorse Commissioner Antonucci's proposal to send out for public comment the repeal of four sets of state regulations, the amendment of one other and the consolidation of two more.
There are four sets of regulations proposed for repeal:
Physical Education, which requires a minimum number of hours of instruction annually and prescribes specifics for teaching physical education. If the regulations are eliminated, the statute requiring physical education in every school in every grade will still remain. Local school districts will then decide the time and curriculum they need (603. CMR 9.00).
Other regulations proposed for repeal include: Tractor trailer schools, already governed by state regulations regarding trade schools (603 CMR 25.00); Nutrition Education and School Food Service regulations, which are unnecessary because federal regulations sufficiently cover this topic (603 CMR 29.00); and Fiscal Accountability for Grant Programs, containing language already stated in the annual Unified Grants Package (603 CMR 32.00).
The regulation intended for minor amendment is a set for Kindergarten, which contains references to dates requiring action taken more than twenty years ago (603 CMR 8.00).
Two regulations needing amendment, consolidation and clarification are School District Reorganization (603 CMR 41.00) and School Employees Collective Bargaining for regional school districts (603 CMR 42.00).
"We need to streamline state as well as federal regulations and end micro-management, so that school districts can be free to do the work they should be doing---moving Education Reform forward. State standards are important. Once they are set, schools should have the flexibility to determine what works best in their own communities. I welcome all interested people to submit their written comments on these proposed changes," said Commissioner Antonucci.
Written comment is strongly encouraged by Antonucci because copies of written comments will be disseminated to all members of the State Board of Education.
Commissioner Antonucci has also set two dates for public hearings. The first will take place on Monday, June 24, 1996, at the Assabet Valley Regional Vocational School, 215 Fitchburg Street, Marlborough. The second hearing will be held on Wednesday, June 26, 1996, at West Springfield High School, 425 Piper Road, West Springfield.
Both hearings are scheduled from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm, and statements will be strictly limited to no more than three minutes per person. The Department will try to provide interpreters if needed, on request at least a week before the hearing.
Texts of the current regulations and proposed changes are available on the Internet at http://www.doe.mass.edu/, and written comments should be sent to the Massachusetts Department of Education, 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148.