July 7, 2008 - Secretary Paul Reville was officially sworn in by the Governor to head the newly created Executive Office of Education.

February 5, 2008 - The House overwhelmingly approved the passage of the Governor's Article 87 Education Governance proposal by a vote of 133 to 19. The proposal was then sent to the Senate where it was approved by a vote of 33-5 on Thursday, February 6.

Creates Executive Office of Education

Headed by a Secretary of Education and containing the following departments:

  • Early Education and Care (existing)
  • Elementary and Secondary Education (new name for the existing Department of Education)
  • Higher Education (new department that will include personnel now staffing the Board of Higher Education)

Establishes a Secretary of Education

Provides the Secretary with the following powers:

  • Approval authority over the boards' hiring of each of the three commissioners
  • A voting seat on the UMass board as well as on the three education boards
  • Approval of mission statements and 5-year master plans, both at the departmental level and, within higher education, at the institutional level
  • Approval of budget and capital outlay requests at the departmental and institutional levels

Maintains Existing Education Boards

Corresponding to each of the above departments expands the size of each board by 2 members and:

  • Installs the secretary as a voting member on each board
  • Staggers the board terms so that there are a fixed number of appointments that come up each year
  • Removes the peer commissioners from each board
  • Other existing powers of the boards remain unchanged

The Secretary would also work closely with our three newly-appointed board chairs:

Board of Early Education and Care, Sharon Scott-Chandler
Board of Education, Paul Reville
Board of Higher Education, Fred Clark

Additional provisions

Provides Governor with authority to appoint the chair of the UMass board.

Reasons for the Reorganization:

  • Right now our educational system lacks an entity that is looking comprehensively at coordinating all of the educational sectors.
  • The Executive Office of Education, with a Cabinet Secretary, will serve as a single, responsible authority within the coordinated comprehensive education system envisioned, and will serve as the chief liaison to the governor's office.
  • The legislation is designed to improve policy coordination across all sectors of education: early education and care, K-12, and higher education; guiding students seamlessly from one step to the next through every level of their education and into the workforce.
  • Recommendations from the Readiness Project are due to the governor later this spring. This legislation is the important first step to get the team in place to implement those recommendations.
  • There is no greater gateway to opportunity and success than a first-rate education. This reorganization, along with the work of the Readiness Project will guide us through the next phase of education reform to ensure all of our children are ready to compete in the global economy.

Filing Process:

Filed under Article 87 of the Commonwealth's Constitution. An Article 87 must be voted up or down without amendment by the Legislature within 60 days.