Bill to lift charter cap soundly defeated- Thank you to all that responded!
"I am thrilled," MTA president says.
A Senate Ways and Means Committee education bill that would have raised the cap on charter schools was defeated in the Massachusetts Senate on July 16 by a vote of 26-13 after a lengthy debate.
Although the House had previously passed a similar measure, the Senate vote effectively kills the proposal for the current legislative session.
MTA members contacted their senators by e-mail and phone, urging them to vote against lifting the cap. The charter provision was the most controversial portion of S. 2262, An Act Relative to Bridging Gaps in Education.
The move to kill the charter cap lift was led by Senators Kenneth Donnelly (D-Arlington) and Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville).
"I am thrilled that the cap on charter schools will not be lifted," said MTA President Barbara Madeloni. "Many senators agreed with us that the state should be putting time and resources into creating the public schools that every student deserves rather than into new charter schools.
"I want to thank our members for their activism on this crucial issue," Madeloni added.
Under current law, districts cannot be forced to spend more than 18 percent of their education budgets on charter schools. If the bill had passed, the limit would have risen to 23 percent over time.
Scholarship Recipients: 2014
Carver: John Rota PNHS: Christian Hatch PSHS: Alexis Armfield Vo. Tech: Mark Mineo
2015 - EAPC scholarships will be dependent on fundraising. Ideas? Contact Cindy Barber
- Non-Medicare eligible retirees' status was not changed. Those hired before 1986 may fall into this category - please call the Benefits office to see if you are in this group. These retirees may be eligible for Medicare through a spouse, or will have access to Blue Choice or Blue Care Elect in retirement.
Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners
A Message Regarding License Renewal
A core academic teacher (CATs)1 of at least one English language learner (ELL) who has failed to obtain the SEI Endorsement when assigned to a Department-designated cohort year, will not be able to renew, advance, or extend his or her license until the educator obtains the SEI Endorsement.
As of July 1, 2016, if a CAT is assigned to a classroom with an ELL, the CAT will be required to earn the SEI Endorsement within a year.
•A CAT who is renewing a professional license may have already earned a significant number of professional development points (PDPs) prior to the enrollment in the Department's SEI course. As a one-time initiative, the Department will allow educators to carry PDPs earned via the ESE SEI course from one renewal cycle to the next. However, educators must maintain all of their PD records for both renewal cycles to ensure their eligibility to carry the SEI PDPs into the next renewal cycle.
•PDPs earned through the SEI Endorsement course may be applied to license renewal as content PDPs. Similar to the allowance for carrying excess SEI PDPs from one renewal cycle to the next, this is also a one-time exception.
The Fall Course located in Plymouth has been designated as a regional program. What that essentially means is that all classes will take place on Saturday.
The law requires all public and private preK-12 school employees in Massachusetts, as well as early childhood educators, to submit to fingerprint-based national and state criminal background checks. Specifically, all school-related personnel with the potential for direct and unmonitored contact with children will be subject to national and state fingerprint-based criminal background checks.
When do I have to submit to a fingerprint check?
Individuals who have begun service for their school employer on or after July 1, 2013, must submit their fingerprints for national and state criminal background checks to be performed once the system is established during the 2013- 2014 school year, according to the process created by the Commonwealth and according to the schedule established by DESE. CORI checks continue to be required at least once every three years for current or prospective school employees who might have direct and unmonitored contact with children.
School employees and others (who might have direct and unmonitored contact with children) who began service for their school employer prior to July 1, 2013, shall submit fingerprints for national and state criminal background checks before the start of the 2016-2017 school year, on a phased-in basis and according to a schedule established by DESE.
Where will the fingerprinting take place?
Fingerprinting will take place at sites to be identified around the state. The closest is Bourne, yet Plymouth is trying to open a site at Plymouth North.
How much does it cost?
The law provides that the fee shall be $55 for employees who are certified pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 71, section 38G, and shall be $35 for employees who are not certified pursuant to section 38G. The law provides that the secretary of administration and finance, in consultation with the secretary of public safety and security and the commissioner of education, may increase the fee accordingly if the FBI increases the fee for its fingerprint background check service.
Many people have asked about the difference in the fee. This fee was set by the legislators and part of the law. Do I have to have my finger prints taken. No, but you will not be employable in a public school setting.