Friday, March 27, 2009

State Education Mandates - Part 6

From time to time, particular around the budget period, reference is generally made to Franklin Public Schools having to support "unfunded mandates." I managed to find a listing of such compiled by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. This is Part 6 in the series:


Frameworks. Districts revise and create new curricula to conform to the state curriculum frameworks and demands for timely update as the revises and updates frameworks on a regular basis. This work must be done after school and during the summer. Instruction hours must provide at minimum 990/900 hours of instructional time.

Individual Student Success Plans. Districts are required to deploy administrative, teaching, secretarial, guidance, and technology staff and resources (including but not limited to intervention programs in ELA and Math) to ensure that students receive additional support services that address individual student needs as a result of statewide assessment mandates (MCAS). Instructional support and resources such as texts, workbooks, and online instruction are examples of areas that require increases in expenditures.

Curriculum Requirements. The Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks require that districts provide additional instructional staff (e.g. health teachers and guidance staff) to ensure that all curriculum areas are addressed. The periodic review and alignment of every curriculum area requires substantial investment in time (including committee review, curriculum development, printing and dissemination of curricula) and resources (texts, consumable items, and online access).

The length of the school year (180 days) requirement impacts costs incurred for snow and ice removal and climate control in multiple buildings.
The full listing is available here (DOC)

Note: on the length of the school year, it is defined in days (180 required) but as we recently found out with the Horace Mann/Oak Street complex problem, the State has not yet defined how much time qualifies as a "day" of school.

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