|Issuer:||Argeo Paul Cellucci|
|Mass Register:||No. 916|
WHEREAS, over the last 7 years, the Commonwealth has spent over $21 billion in reforming our schools to ensure that they meet the needs and provide for the success of each school-aged child;
WHEREAS, recent research on brain development has demonstrated that the first several years of life are particularly critical to a child's healthy development and readiness to enter school;
WHEREAS, such research reveals the significance of providing a nurturing and stimulating environment to support young children's emotional and cognitive development and that participation in a high quality early learning program, in conjunction with fully integrated supportive services, produces lasting benefits for those children as they enter elementary school;
WHEREAS, Massachusetts is nationally known for its strong investment in its young children - their health, child care, early education and social services; and
WHEREAS, state programs providing early childhood services should be coordinated and structured to maximize efficiency and simplify and expand accessibility to ensure school readiness for all young children in the Commonwealth.
NOW THEREFORE, I, ARGEO PAUL CELLUCCI, 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. There is hereby established the Governor's Commission on School Readiness (the "Commission"). The Commission shall advise and make recommendations to the Governor as to how the current system of services delivered by the Commonwealth to young children, birth to age five, and their families may be improved or more efficiently integrated to ensure that the Commonwealth's young children enter elementary school prepared to learn and succeed. If appropriate to further its objective, the Commission may, without limitation, (i) identify methods for measuring the effectiveness of current programs delivering such services; (ii) provide data regarding systems and the provision of early childhood services in other states, and (iii) seek input from state and local providers of such services, families of young children in the Commonwealth and others invested in the preparation of our young children for school readiness.
Section 2. The Commission shall consist of no less than 20 members and be appointed by the Governor. The membership of the Commission shall include a representative of the Executive Offices of Administration and Finance, Health and Human Services and Elder Affairs; the Office of Child Care Services; the Departments of Social Services, Education, Transitional Assistance, Mental Health and Public Health; and the Division of Medical Affairs. The Governor shall appoint the Co-Chairs of the Commission. The remaining members may include parents; advocates for children services; business, community and religious leaders; legislators; and individuals with knowledge and experience in the fields of early care and education, primary and higher education, disability, health and mental health. The members shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
Section 3. The Commission shall meet at such times and places as established by the Co-Chairs. The Co-Chairs shall prepare and submit a written report, together with any recommendations of the Commission, to the Governor by November 15, 2001.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 13th day of February in the year two thousand one.
Argeo Paul Cellucci, Governor
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth