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Education Laws and Regulations

603 CMR 1.00

Charter Schools


  • 1.01: Purpose
  • 1.02: Definitions
  • 1.03: General Provisions
  • 1.04: Applications for and Granting of Charters
  • 1.05: Student Recruitment, Enrollment, and Retention
  • 1.06: Boards of Trustees and Staff
  • 1.07: Funding
  • 1.08: Reporting Requirements and Ongoing Review
  • 1.09: Complaint Procedures
  • 1.10: Amendments of Charters
  • 1.11: Renewal of Charters
  • 1.12: Conditions, Probation, Suspension, Revocation and Non-Renewal
  • 1.13: Severability Clause
  • View All Sections

Most Recently Amended by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education: September 22, 2015

1.06: Boards of Trustees and Staff

(1) Responsibilities of Board of Trustees: The board of trustees of a charter school holds the charter of the school and governs the school. Every board of trustees shall have a least five members. Boards of trustees are state governmental bodies. Boards of trustees must fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities, including but not limited to, the duty of loyalty and duty of care, as well as the obligation to oversee the school's budget. Boards of trustees shall not exercise managerial powers over the day-to-day operations of the school. Boards of trustees must ensure that schools operate in accordance with their charter, including any approved amendments. Boards of trustees must ensure that schools operate in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws. The responsibilities of boards of trustees shall include, but are not limited to the following:

(a) Successfully completing the opening procedures process in accordance with M.G.L. c. 70, § 89; 603 CMR 1.00; and any guidelines issued by the Department;
(b) Requesting the Commissioner's appointment of any new trustees;
(c) Submitting the timely annual report;
(d) Submitting the timely annual independent audit;
(e) Hiring, evaluating, and removing, if necessary, qualified personnel to manage the charter school's day-to-day operations and holding these administrators accountable for meeting specified goals;
(f) Approving and monitoring progress towards meeting the goals of the school's Accountability Plan;
(g) Adopting and revising school policies, including plans for student recruitment and retention;
(h) Responding to complaints in writing as required by 603 CMR 1.09; and
(i) Ensuring that members of the board receive an orientation and training regarding their duties and obligations as members of a board of trustees.

(2) Bylaws: The bylaws of every board of trustees must comply with state and federal laws and contain provisions including, but not limited to:

(a) specific, reasonable limits on successive or total terms for members of the board of trustees;
(b) the exercise of due diligence in assessing the suitability of candidates for board membership with respect to potential conflicts of interest and areas of skills and expertise that will be of value to the board of trustees, such due diligence to occur prior to a vote by the board of trustees to request the Commissioner to appoint the proposed members;
(c) frequency of board meetings, which must be held in Massachusetts, and occur at least quarterly;
(d) compliance with the Commonwealth's open meeting law in M.G.L. c. 30A, including meeting all training requirements;
(e) compliance by members of the board of trustees with the Commonwealth's state ethics requirements, including meeting all training requirements, filing all required disclosures under M.G.L. c. 268A, and the filing of statements of financial interest under M.G.L. c. 71, § 89(u); and
(f) if board includes one or two employees of the school as members of the board of trustees, the bylaws must explicitly identify these positions.

(3) Board of Trustees Training: Every member of the board of trustees shall, within one year of appointment, complete orientation concerning the responsibilities of their office, as determined by the Commissioner, and any other training required by other state agencies.

(4) Charter School Staff: Charter school teachers hired after August 10, 2000 must either:

(a) take and pass, within their first year of employment at a charter school, the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure; or
(b) be already licensed to teach in Massachusetts.

Regulatory Authority:
M.G.L. c. 69, § 1B; c. 71, § 89

For an official copy of these regulations, please contact the State House Bookstore, at 617-727-2834 or visit Massachusetts State Bookstore.

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

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