A Chance to Testify, this Time on Charter School Bills – May 7

The Joint Education Committee of the Massachusetts Legislature will have a public hearing on Tuesday, May 7 at 10 a.m. in room A-1 at the State House (Just inside the entrance through the garden on Bowdoin Street).

Four bills that make important, positive changes regarding charter schools will be heard.  You can come and testify or submit written testimony in support to the Education Committee: The State House, Room 473G, Boston, MA 02133…

These are the four priority bills.

HB 491, SB 258 – An Act relative to charter schools, filed by Rep. Frank Smizik, Senator Marc Pacheco. Requires local approval of any new Commonwealth charter school applications in order for funding to come from the local school district. Commonwealth charter school applications approved by the board of elementary and secondary education that do not receive local approval shall be funded by the board, but not from chapter 70 or other funds designated for local school districts. For a detailed fact sheet on this bill, click here.

HB 468 – An Act to improve student retention in charter schools, filed by Rep. Denise Provost. Requires that charter schools implement certain practices, or refrain from other practices, in order to ensure that all students have the opportunity to be accepted at a charter school, and to complete their education in a charter school.  Prohibits charters from imposing conditions or commitments designed to exclude certain students that would not be allowed in district public schools. Requires collection of data and reporting to help implement this bill.

HB 372, SB 257 – An Act establishing a moratorium for Commonwealth charter schools, filed by Rep. James Dwyer, Senator Marc Pacheco. Suspends the authority of the board of elementary and secondary education from granting Commonwealth Charter School applications until September 1, 2015. For a more detailed fact sheet on this bill, click here.

HB 345 – An Act prohibiting for-profit entities from managing charter schools, filed by Representative Michael D. Brady. Co-sponsor Christine Canavan. For–profit business and corporate entities shall be prohibited from managing charter schools.

Come and testify or be present to support positive change for students. Testimony should be limited to 3 minutes. It is always advisable to hand in written testimony. Bring about 20 copies.

The Committee will be hearing testimony on a range of bills that address charter schools as well as school accountability policy in Massachusetts, including bills that would lift the cap on charters and increase the numbers of schools in the state eligible for draconian “accountability” measures.

To read brief summaries of other bills that will be heard on Tuesday, click here. For a more detailed fact sheet on

Contact Executive Director Marilyn Segal at marilyn@citizensforpublicschools.org to learn more about participating.