|William F. Weld
Table of Contents
WHEREAS it is a paramount goal of the Commonwealth to provide a public education system of sufficient quality to extend to every child the opportunity to achieve his or her potential to lead a productive life as a participant in the political and social life of the Commonwealth and as a contributor to its economy; and
WHEREAS the Education Reform Act was enacted in 1993 in order to assist students to attain a higher level of educational achievement and reach the aforesaid goal of the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS an effective mechanism for monitoring progress toward those goals and for holding educators accountable for achievement of those goals is an essential part of the success of the students and the attainment of the goals of the Education Reform Act; and
WHEREAS nearly one billion dollars have been invested in Massachusetts schools in order to improve student learning over the past four years; and
WHEREAS recent state standardized assessments have raised legitimate questions about the use of education reform funds and about the commitment to school improvement in some school districts; and
WHEREAS the people of the Commonwealth deserve to have an accounting of the performance of school districts.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, William F. Weld, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate, do hereby order as follows:
Section 1. An Educational Management Accountability Board ("Board") is hereby established to review, investigate and report on the expenditure of funds by school districts, including regional school districts, consistent with the goals of improving student achievement.
Section 2. The Board shall consist of not less than seven (7) nor more than thirteen (13) members. One member shall be designated by the Governor to be chairman. The members of the Board shall serve without compensation but may receive reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred in fulfilling their obligations subject to any appropriation or allocation.
The Board shall adopt such guidelines and procedures as are appropriate for the effective performance of its duties. Any procedural issues that may arise during a Board meeting shall be resolved by reference Robert's Rules of Order. The Board shall meet as often as necessary to receive reports and issue findings. The Board may also conduct such forums or hearings on school accountability as it considers appropriate.
The members of the Board shall be appointed to renewable one year terms.
Section 3. The Secretary of Administration and Finance ("Secretary"), or his designee, shall serve as the chief of staff for the Board. The Director of Accounts for the Division of Local Services of the Department of Revenue shall be the chief investigator for the Board ("Director"). The Secretary shall request staff from the department of revenue, the department of education, and any other executive office, agency or department which may provide technical assistance in fulfilling the purposes of the Board.
Subject to appropriation or allocation, the Director may employ other investigators and seek expert and technical assistance in examining fiscal and educational issues within a school district.
All investigations shall be conducted in consultation with the State Auditor and the Commissioner of Education.
Section 4. Pursuant to General Laws ch. 44, sections 45 and 46A, and General Laws ch. 71, section 16E, and for the purposes of this Board, the Director may conduct investigations and may require the attendance of witnesses, the production of books and documents and may examine witnesses under oath in the same manner as in the Superior Court.
Section 5. The Board, through the Secretary and the Director, shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
(A) Develop the protocols for the review of the schools and school districts, including regional school districts;
(B) Verify the accuracy of reports of schools and school districts, including regional school districts, filed with the Department of Education;
(C) Conduct a review and analysis of budgets of school districts, including regional school districts, to determine whether the districts are complying with state law;
(D) Conduct a review and analysis of school districts' spending to determine whether the spending effectively supports the districts' educational programs and the goals of the Education Reform Act; and
(E) Prepare and submit to the Governor and Lt. Governor a report of findings of each school district investigated by the Board. Said reports shall also be sent to the Senate President, the Speaker of the House, the Chairman of the Board of Education, the Attorney General, the State Auditor, the Commissioner of Education, along with the chairman of the school committee and the Superintendent of the school district investigated by the Board and such other municipal officials as may be appropriate. In addition, the Board shall also prepare and submit an annual report of its investigations and findings.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 20th day of February in the year one thousand nine hundred and ninety-seven.
William F. Weld
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of State