Thursday, January 7, 2010

So WHAT did they pass?

H4410 went through after midnight last night, with the leadership apparently dispensing with parliamentary procedure in order to get it through.
(This does not give one great confidence...)

So what made it in and what didn't?
  • the adequacy study appears to be in as (part of consolidated amendment C).
  • school committees can vote to pull out of regional districts.
  • districts "shall make a good faith effort" to sell excess buildings to charter schools
  • there's a change throughout of using graduation and promotion rates instead of dropout rates as a measure of district success.
  • the move to tie regional school transportation rates to ch. 70 aid made it in
  • language surrounding protection of bargaining rights
  • Boston can have up to 9 Horace Mann charters
  • charter schools must be reflective of their communities (or -y) in "race, color, national origin, creed, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental or physcial disability, age, ancestry, athletic performance, special need, proficiency in the English language, or academic achievement" and must have a plan to remain that way; there's also further specific mention of special education students; further, there's specifics around recruiting and retaining students with free and reduced lunch rates
  • innovation schools are open to school choice and can be virtual schools
  • the commissioner can "request" the reopening of a contract, but negotiations are between the union and school committee, and is subject to arbitration
  • termination must be for causes under employee control and after appropriate evaluation; also, teachers in an underperforming district (it originally said school) can be dismissed for good cause
  • 15% limited English proficiency population or more triggers a need for a specific plan (hmm...need to ask which schools in Worcester this includes); plus there is a huge amendment on ELL
  • charter reimbursement is 100%, then 60, 40, 35, 35, 35
  • charter schools can hold auditions but not entering exams
  • charter schools need waitlists, submitted to the state, and must use them to fill vacancies
  • an attempt to change the tuition for charter school students to the school choice amount was rejected
  • for a district that already is spending 9% of net school spending on charter schools, in order to get another, the charter applicant has to have a record of successful charters (I'm wondering what this does to the applications now pending...)
  • charter schools may not retain more than 5% of their income in any year (this limits the amount they can save)
  • a study of the MCAS failed
  • there's an addition of "mobile students" among the populations that need specific attention (important for districts like Worcester with 40% mobility)
  • an effort to further limit districts' responsibility for transportation was withdrawn
  • an effort to have charter schools subject in some way to local school committees was withdrawn
  • Rep. O'Day's amendment regarding a uniform conduct code (between charters and public schools) was passed
  • and, yes, training in proper etiquette of the American flag made it in

1 comment:

T-Traveler said...

"the commissioner can "request" the reopening of a contract, but negotiations are between the union and school committee, and is subject to arbitration"

is the city's bargaining team still the school committee PLUS the city manager?