Massachusetts

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Massachusetts

1993
Year Charter School Law Was Enacted
81
Estimated Number of Charter Schools in 2016-17
44,200
Estimated Number of Charter School Students in 2016-17
162
out of
240
Total Score

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Massachusetts’ law provides a fair amount of autonomy and accountability to charter public schools, but it contains a variety of caps on charter growth, includes only a single authorizing path, and provides inequitable funding.

Potential areas for improvement include removing the state’s caps on charter school growth and ensuring equitable operational funding and equitable access to capital funding and facilities.

*Since Massachusetts does not allow full-time virtual charter schools, the highest score possible is 228 for the remaining 20 components. However, we converted this score to one that is comparable to the states that allow full-time virtual charter schools. Massachusetts received 151 out of the 228 points available for the remaining 20 components, or 66 percent. We then multiplied the total points possible for all 21 components (240) by 66 percent to get a score comparable to the other states (159).

Component Scores

Are there caps on the growth of charter schools in this state?

Massachusetts law contains the following caps on charter school growth:
(1) 120 charter schools statewide are permitted, with 72 reserved for commonwealth charter schools and 48 reserved for Horace Mann charter schools.
(2) Not less than two of the new charters approved by the state board of education in any year shall be granted for charter schools located in districts where overall student performance on the statewide assessment system is in the lowest 10 percent statewide in the two years preceding the charter application.
(3) In any fiscal year, no school district's total charter school tuition payment to commonwealth charter schools shall exceed nine percent of said district's net school spending. However, in the districts performing in the lowest 10 percent statewide, this percentage will increase from nine percent to 18 percent between Fiscal Year 2011 and Fiscal Year 2017, with any new charters above the previous cap of nine percent reserved for the replication of high performing schools these districts. The law provides that the schools authorized above the previous cap of nine percent don’t count toward the cap of 72 commonwealth charter schools.
(4) The state board of education shall not approve a new commonwealth charter school in any community with a population of less than 30,000 unless it is a regional charter school. In any year, the state board of education shall approve only one regional charter school application of any commonwealth charter school located in a school district where overall student performance on the statewide assessment system is in the top 10 percent in the year preceding charter application.

There are currently 80 charter schools open in Massachusetts - 71 commonwealth charter schools and nine Horace Mann charter schools. However, the state's cap on a school district's total charter school tuition payment to commonwealth charter schools in the districts performing in the lowest 10 percent statewide is a constraint on growth in several school districts in the state (including Boston).

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
No
1A
No numeric or geographic limits are placed on the number of charter public schools or students.
Some
1B
If caps exist, there is room for growth.

Are a variety of charter schools allowed?

Massachusetts law allows new start-ups and public school conversions.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
2A
New startups.
Yes
2B
Public school conversions.

Are non-district authorizers available to which charter applicants may directly apply?

Massachusetts provides only a single authorizer option in the state board of education.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
3A
The state allows an applicant anywhere in the state to apply directly to a non-district authorizer(s).

Is an authorizer and overall program accountability system required?

Massachusetts law requires the state commissioner of education to collect data on the racial, ethnic, and socio-economic make-up of the student enrollment of each charter school in the commonwealth and the number of students enrolled in each charter school who have individual education plans and those requiring English language learners programs. It also requires the state commissioner of education to file such data annually with the clerks of the house and senate and with the joint committee on education, arts, and humanities not later than December 1.
While the law does not require the legislature and governor to regularly review the performance of the state board of education as an authorizer, they can do so at any time. In addition, the ability of the state board of education to continue authorizing can be removed by the legislature and governor (the entities that gave it that authority).

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
N/A
4A
Registration process for school boards to affirm their interest in authorizing.
N/A
4B
Application process for other eligible authorizing entities (except a state charter schools commission).
Yes
4C
Authorizer submission of annual report.
Yes
4D
The ability for the state to conduct a review of an authorizer’s performance.
Yes
4E
The ability for the state to sanction an authorizer for poor performance, including suspending an authorizer’s authority to approve new schools.
Some
4F
Periodic formal evaluation of overall state charter school program and outcomes.

Is there adequate authorizer funding?

Massachusetts law includes a small number of the model law's provisions for adequate authorizer funding. State ethics laws preclude a charter school from being required to purchase services from the state department of education. Because the authorizer resides within the state department of education, its funding is contained within the overall funding of the department. The funding levels for the authorizer are steady or shrinking while the number of schools continues to grow.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
No
5A
A uniform statewide formula that guarantees annual authorizer funding that is not subject to annual legislative appropriations.
No
5B
Requirement to publicly report detailed authorizer expenditures.
No
5C
Separate contract for any services purchased from an authorizer by a school.
Yes
5D
Prohibition on authorizers requiring schools to purchase services from them.

Are there transparent charter application, review, and decisionmaking processes?

Massachusetts law contains application elements for all schools and additional application elements specific to conversion schools. The law also contains additional requirements for applications submitted by proven providers (i.e., successful charter school operators) that want to replicate their models.
According to Massachusetts law, if the charter school intends to procure substantially all educational services under contract with another person, the terms of such a contract must be approved by the board either as part of the original charter or by way of an amendment thereto.

The state department of education issues applications, including all requirements and approval criteria, for the state.

Massachusetts law and regulation require an in-person interview and a public hearing for each charter application.

Massachusetts law provides that only charter applications that have been recommended by the state commissioner of education go to the public meeting of the state board and that all founding groups receive letters if they are denied with reasons.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
6A
Application elements for all schools.
Yes
6B
Additional application elements specific to conversion schools.
Yes
6C
Additional application elements specific to using educational service providers.
Yes
6D
Additional application elements specific to replications.
Yes
6E
Requirement for thorough evaluation of each application, including an in-person interview and a public meeting.
Yes
6F
Application approval criteria.
Some
6G
All charter approval or denial decisions made in a public meeting with authorizers stating reasons for denials in writing.

Are performance-based charter contracts required?

Massachusetts does not have a performance contract per se. However, because the state has a single authorizer in the state board of education, the Charter School Performance Criteria issued by the state department of education and the Accountability Plan executed by the governing board of the charter school and the authorizer (as specified in regulation) fully define the roles, powers, and responsibilities for the school and the authorizer and the academic and operation performance expectations by which the school will be judged.
Massachusetts law provides that charter contract terms are for five years.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Some
7A
Being created as a separate document from the application and executed by the governing board of the charter school and the authorizer.
Yes
7B
Defining the roles, powers, and responsibilities for the school and its authorizer.
Yes
7C
Defining academic, financial, and operational performance expectations by which the school will be judged based on a performance framework.
Yes
7D
Providing an initial term of five operating years.

Are there comprehensive charter school monitoring and data collection processes?

Massachusetts regulations allow the state department of education to send evaluation teams to visit each charter school on an annual basis to corroborate and augment the information provided in the school’s annual report in accordance with guidelines issued by the department. State regulations also allow site visit teams to gather any other evidence relevant to the school's performance and provide that the written reports from these site visits become part of the charter school's record, along with any written addendum that the school wishes to submit in response to a report.
Massachusetts regulations require a charter school to submit to the state board of education and the local school committee and make available to every parent or guardian of its enrolled students and to every parent or guardian who expresses interest in enrolling in that charter school, an annual report.

Massachusetts regulations require each charter school to have an independent audit conducted of its accounts, consistent with generally accepted auditing principles, and consistent with any guidelines the state department of education may issue. Regulations require charter schools to file audits annually and file a Charter School End-of-Year Financial Report which is similar to that filed by traditional districts.

Massachusetts regulations require that a charter school is responsible for filing any data reports or school returns as required under public school law and regulations, in accordance with guidelines published by the state department of education.

According to Massachusetts regulations, as required by the state department of education, a charter school must submit written documentation that the school remains in compliance with all building, health, safety, and insurance requirements established as conditions for charter granting and that all related inspections and approvals are current.

Massachusetts regulations require a charter school to notify the state department of education in writing immediately of any change in circumstances that may have a significant impact on a charter school's ability to fulfill its goals or mission as stated in its charter. Within 30 days after receiving such notice, regulations require the state commissioner of education to determine whether any remedial action is required and to recommend such action, if necessary, to the state board of education. Regulations provide that such actions may include suspension or revocation of the charter or placing the charter school on probation.

According to Massachusetts regulations, at the discretion of the state board of education, charter schools may be required to submit additional information other than that specifically required by regulation.

Massachusetts regulations allow the state board of education to place a charter school on probation, rather than revoke its charter, in order to allow for the implementation of a remedial plan approved by the board. If after 60 days, or such longer period as the board may specify, said plan is unsuccessful in remedying the problem or alleviating the causes of the probation, regulations allow the board to summarily revoke the charter.

Massachusetts regulations allow the state department of education to impose certain conditions on a school's charter for violations of law or failure to comply with the terms of the school's charter.

Massachusetts regulations allow the state board of education to withhold payments to any charter school placed on probation or whose charter has been suspended, revoked, or not renewed or that has failed to comply with conditions imposed by law or regulation.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
8A
Required annual school performance reports.
Yes
8B
Financial accountability for charter schools (e.g., generally accepted accounting principles, independent annual audit reported to authorizer).
Yes
8C
Authorizer authority to conduct oversight activities.
Yes
8D
Authorizer notification to its schools of perceived problems, with opportunities to remedy such problems.
Yes
8E
Authorizer authority to take appropriate corrective actions or exercise sanctions short of revocation.
No
8F
Authorizer may not request duplicative data submission from its charter schools and may not use performance framework to create cumbersome reporting requirements.

Are there clear processes for renewal, nonrenewal, and revocation decisions?

Massachusetts regulations require that charter schools seeking renewal apply for it under renewal application guidelines established by the state board of education. Regulations also require that applications for the renewal of Horace Mann charters must be submitted with the approval of the local teachers' union and the local school committee.
Massachusetts regulations provides that the renewals of high-performing charter schools are delegated to the state commissioner of education. The state commissioner of education must declare which schools he plans to invoke delegation for. The state board of education may choose to bring the school in front of the board for a vote instead.

Massachusetts regulations require the state department of education to issue guidelines describing the evaluation process to be followed in reviewing applications for charter renewal, including protocols for renewal inspections. Regulations require that the decision by the state board of education to renew a charter must be based upon the presentation of affirmative evidence regarding the success of the school's academic program; the viability of the school as an organization; and the faithfulness of the school to the terms of its charter. Regulations require the state department to gather evidence regarding these issues from the renewal application and from other information, including but not limited to, a school's annual reports, financial audits, test results, site visit reports, and renewal inspection. Regulations provide that all charter schools must be evaluated on the same performance criteria as provided in the guidelines, provided, however, that the criteria take into account each school's charter and accountability plan.

Massachusetts regulations provide that the state board may suspend or revoke a charter for cause, including but not limited to: a material misrepresentation in the application for approval of the charter; failure to comply substantially with the terms of the charter, with any of the applicable provisions in state law, or with any other applicable law or regulation; financial insolvency; misappropriation, conversion, mismanagement, or illegal withholding of funds or refusal to pay any funds that belong to any person otherwise entitled thereto and that have been entrusted to the charter school or its administrators in their fiduciary capacities; fraud or gross mismanagement on the part of charter school administrators or Board of Trustees; criminal convictions on the part of the charter school or its Board of Trustees; or failure to fulfill any conditions imposed by the state board in connection with the grant of a charter.

Massachusetts regulations require that charters that are renewed must be for five years from the expiration of the previous charter under such conditions as the state board may establish under regulation. The law does not provide authorizers with the authority to vary length of charter renewal contract terms based on performance or other issues.

Massachusetts regulations require the state board to provide charter schools with timely notification of potential revocation or non-renewal and reasonable time to respond and to provide charter schools with due process for nonrenewal and revocation.

Massachusetts regulations contain the following closure provisions:

• Charter schools must comply with the closing procedures established by the state department.
• Upon the revocation, non-renewal, or voluntary return of a commonwealth charter, title to all of the property of the charter school shall immediately vest in the Commonwealth, subject to the rights of any secured party holding a perfected security interest in the property of such charter school. Any funds remaining after the satisfaction of the charter school's obligations shall be deposited in the General Fund. This regulation shall not apply to the extent the charter school or any other interested party demonstrates that charter school property was purchased solely by, or solely with funds paid to the school by, persons or entities other than the Commonwealth, in which case ownership of the property shall be transferred to such persons or entities, unless otherwise voted by the Board of Trustees.
• Upon the revocation, non-renewal, or voluntary return of a Horace Mann charter, title to all of the property of the charter school shall immediately vest in the school district in which the school is located, subject to the rights of any secured party holding a perfected security interest in the property of such charter school. This regulation shall not apply to the extent the charter school or any other interested party demonstrates that charter school property was purchased solely by, or solely with funds paid to the school by, persons or entities other than the district or Commonwealth, in which case ownership of the property shall be transferred to such persons or entities, unless otherwise voted by the Board of Trustees.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
No
9A
Authorizer must issue school performance renewal reports to schools whose charter will expire the following year.
Yes
9B
Schools seeking renewal must apply for it.
Yes
9C
Authorizers must issue renewal application guidance that provides an opportunity for schools to augment their performance record and discuss improvements and future plans.
Yes
9D
Ability to have a differentiated process for renewal of high-performing charter schools.
Yes
9E
Authorizers must use clear criteria for renewal and nonrenewal/revocation.
Yes
9F
Authorizers must ground renewal decisions based on evidence regarding the school’s performance over the term of the charter contract in accordance with the performance framework set forth in the charter contract.
No
9G
Requirement that authorizers close chronically low-performing charter schools unless exceptional circumstances exist.
Yes
9H
Authorizers must have the authority to vary length of charter renewal contract terms based on performance or other issues.
Yes
9I
Authorizers must provide charter schools with timely notification of potential revocation or nonrenewal (including reasons) and reasonable time to respond.
Yes
9J
Authorizers must provide charter schools with due process for nonrenewal and revocation decisions (e.g., public hearing, submission of evidence).
Yes
9K
All charter renewal, nonrenewal, and revocation decisions must be made in a public meeting, with authorizers stating reasons for nonrenewals and revocations in writing.
Yes
9L
Authorizers must have school closure protocols to ensure timely parent notification, orderly student and record transitions, and property and asset disposition.
N/A
9M
Any transfer of charter contracts from one authorizer to another are only allowed if they are approved by the state.

Is there transparency regarding educational service providers?

Massachusetts law allows all types of educational service providers, requires contracts between boards and providers, and has provisions regarding conflicts of interest.
The law requires applications submitted by proven providers (i.e., successful charter operators) to demonstrate the performance of their successful schools they propose to replicate, including academic and operational performance, and board capacity to operate additional schools.

The law provides that a charter school has to ensure that any adult that comes in contact with students, where they are an employee of the school or not, has a background check.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
10A
All types of educational service providers (both for-profit and nonprofit) are allowed to operate all or parts of schools.
Yes
10B
The charter application requires (1) performance data for all current and past schools operated by the ESP, and (2) explanation and evidence of the ESP’s capacity for successful growth while maintaining quality in existing schools.
Yes
10C
A performance contract is required between the independent charter school board and the ESP, with such contract approved by the school’s authorizer.
Yes
10D
School governing boards operate as entities completely independent of any ESP, individuals compensated by an ESP are prohibited from serving as voting members on such boards, and existing and potential conflicts of interest between the two entities are required to be disclosed and explained in the charter application.
No
10E
Provides that charter school governing boards must have access to ESP records necessary to oversee the ESP contract.
No
10F
An ESP must annually provide information to its charter school governing board on how that ESP spends public funding it receives when the ESP is performing a public function under applicable state law.
Yes
10G
Requires that similar criminal history record checks and fingerprinting requirements applicable to other public schools shall also be mandatory for on-site employees of ESPs who regularly come into contact with students.

Are the schools fiscally and legally autonomous with independent charter school boards?

Massachusetts law provides requirements for fiscally and legally autonomous schools with independent charter school boards.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
11A
Fiscally autonomous schools (e.g., schools have clear statutory authority to receive and disburse funds; incur debt; and pledge, assign, or encumber assets as collateral).
Yes
11B
Legally autonomous schools (e.g., schools have clear statutory authority to enter into contracts and leases, sue and be sued in their own names, and acquire real property).
Yes
11C
Independent school governing boards created specifically to govern their charter schools.

Are there clear student enrollment and lottery procedures?

Massachusetts law requires charter schools to provide open enrollment to any student in the state. However, the law provides that preference for enrollment in a commonwealth charter school must be given to students who reside in the city or town in which the charter school is located or the region the school serves if it is chartered to be regional.
According to the law, charter schools cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, sex, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, age, ancestry, athletic performance, special need, proficiency in the English language or academic achievement.

The law provides that preference must be given to prior year students within chartered schools and siblings of students currently attending the charter school.

The law provides that priority for enrollment in a Horace Mann charter school must be given first to students actually enrolled in said school on the date that the application is filed with the state board of education and to their siblings and second to other students actually enrolled in the public schools of the district where the Horace Mann charter school is to be located and third to other resident students.

Massachusetts law requires charter schools to hold lotteries if too many students seek enrollment in the school.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
12A
Open enrollment to any student in the state.
Yes
12B
Anti-discrimination provisions regarding admissions.
Yes
12C
Required enrollment preferences for previously enrolled students within conversions and for prior-year students within charter schools.
Yes
12D
Lottery requirements.

Is there automatic exemption from many state and district laws and regulations?

Massachusetts law provides that charter schools must operate in accordance with the provisions of law regulating other public schools, although the following provisions of state law do not apply to commonwealth charter schools: “Section 41. Tenure of teachers and superintendents; persons entitled to professional teacher status; dismissal; review” and “Section 42: Dismissal or demotion of teachers or other employees of school or school district; arbitration.”
For commonwealth charter schools, the law provides that teachers do not have to be certified but need to pass the state teacher test within one year of employment. For Horace Mann charter schools, the law requires charter teachers to be certified.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Some
13A
Exemptions from all laws, except those covering health, safety, civil rights, student accountability, employee criminal history checks, open meetings, freedom of information, and generally accepted accounting principles.
Some
13B
Exemption from state teacher certification requirements.

Is there an automatic collective bargaining exemption?

Commonwealth charter teachers may work independently or bargain collectively. Horace Mann charter teachers remain bound by school district collective bargaining agreements to the extent provided by the terms of their charters.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Some
14A
Charter schools authorized by nonlocal board authorizers are exempt from participation in any outside collective bargaining agreements.
N/A
14B
Charter schools authorized by local boards are exempt from participation in any district collective bargaining agreements.

Are multischool charter contracts and/or multicharter contract boards allowed?

Massachusetts law allows the state board of education to approve applications for replication schools received from those with a record of operating at least one school or similar program with demonstrated academic success and organizational viability, with independent fiscal and academic accountability for each school.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
No
15A
Oversee multiple schools linked under a single contract with independent fiscal and academic accountability for each school.
Yes
15B
Hold multiple charter contracts with independent fiscal and academic accountability for each school.

Is there eligibility and access to extracurricular and interscholastic activities?

Massachusetts law is silent about charter eligibility and access.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
No
16A
Laws or regulations explicitly state that charter school students and employees are eligible to participate in all extracurricular and interscholastic activities available to noncharter public school students and employees.
No
16B
Laws or regulations explicitly allow charter school students in schools not providing extracurricular and interscholastic activities to have access to those activities at noncharter public schools.

Is there clear identification of special education responsibilities?

Massachusetts law provides that charter schools must comply with the state’s special education statutes provided, however, that the fiscal responsibility of any special needs student currently enrolled in or determined to require a private day or residential school shall remain with the school district where the student resides.
Massachusetts laws and regulation provide equal access to all applicable categorical federal and state funding, and clear guidance on the pass-through of such funds, including for charter schools that are significantly expanding.

It also provides that if a charter school expects that a special needs student currently enrolled in the charter school may be in need of the services of a private day or residential school, the school must convene an individual education plan team meeting for said student that includes representatives from the sending district.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
17A
Clarity regarding which entity is the local education agency (LEA) responsible for providing special education services.
Yes
17B
Clarity regarding the flow of federal, state, and local special education funds to the designated LEA.
Yes
17C
Clarity regarding funding for low-incident, high-cost services for charter schools (in the same amount and/or in a manner similar to other LEAs).
No
17D
Clarity that charter schools have access to all regional and state services and supports available to traditional districts.

Is there equitable operational funding and equal access to all state and federal categorical funding?

Massachusetts law provides that commonwealth charter schools are funded as follows: The commonwealth shall pay a tuition amount to the charter school, which shall be the sum of the tuition amounts calculated separately for each district sending students to the charter school. Tuition amounts for each sending district shall be calculated by the department of education using the formula set forth in state law, to reflect, as much as practicable, the actual per pupil spending amount that would be expended in the district if the students attended the district schools. The tuition amount shall be calculated separately for each district sending students to a charter school, and for each charter school to which a district sends students. Each district’s per pupil tuition amount for each charter school to which it sends students shall include a per pupil foundation budget component, adjusted to reflect the actual net school spending in the sending district.
Massachusetts laws and regulation provide equal access to all applicable categorical federal and state funding, and clear guidance on the pass-through of such funds, including for charter schools that are significantly expanding.

Massachusetts law requires school districts to provide transportation to charter school students on the same basis as it is provided to regular public school students in the district. In providing such transportation, the law requires districts to accommodate the particular school year and school day of the charter school, in accordance with state law. If a district and a charter school cannot reach agreement about the service to be provided, and if the charter school finds an alternative that costs the same as or less than the average cost of transportation per student in the district, the law allows the charter school to provide its own transportation services to students eligible for transportation. In such cases, the law provides that the costs for such services will be deducted from a district's account on a quarterly basis, based on estimated and actual expenditures for transportation.

Starting in January 2018, comparable district and charter school financial reports will be published on the state department of education’s website.
In a national study of charter school funding (University of Arkansas, Charter School Funding: Inequity Persists, 2014), Massachusetts charter schools were receiving on average $12,861 per pupil in public funds, while traditional public schools would have received $17,555 for those students. As a result, the state's charter schools were receiving $4,694 per pupil - or 26.7% - less than what the traditional public schools would have received for those students. This figure includes all sources of funding, and analysis reveals some continued inequities for operational, but the significant inequities exist for capital funding (see component #19 for information on capital issues).

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Some
18A
Equitable operational funding statutorily driven.
Yes
18B
Equal access to all applicable categorical federal and state funding and clear guidance on the pass-through of such funds.
Yes
18C
Funding for transportation similar to school districts.
Yes
18D
Annual report offering district and charter school funding comparisons and including annual recommendations to the legislature for any needed equity enhancements.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Massachusetts law requires the state department of education to provide, subject to appropriation, funding to charter schools for a portion of the per pupil capital needs component included in the charter tuition amount. It requires the department to calculate a statewide per pupil average expenditure from state and local sources for capital costs solely associated with payments, including interest and principle payments, for the construction, renovation, purchase, acquisition, or improvement of school buildings and land, multiply said amount by the number of students the district sends to charter schools, and reimburse these sending school districts for said costs. In making these calculations, it requires the department to use data from the most recent year for which actual district expenditures have been reported by districts to the department. The per-pupil capital needs component is $893.
Massachusetts law allows charter schools to access tax-exempt bond financing for capital projects through the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency.

While not created in statute, the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency provides loan guarantees for charter facilities projects.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Yes
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program for charter school facilities.
No
19C
Equal access to existing state facilities programs available to noncharter public schools.
Access to Public Space
No
19D
A requirement for districts to provide school district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district.
No
19E
Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
No
19F
A state loan program for charter school facilities.
Yes
19G
Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority
No
19H
Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms.
No
19I
The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund.
No
19J
The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding and mill levy requests.
No
19K
A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.
Other
Yes
19L
Charter schools allowed to contract at or below fair market value with a school district, a college or university, or any other public or for-profit or nonprofit private entity for the use of facility for a school building.
No
19M
Certain entities allowed to provide space to charter schools within their facilities under their preexisting zoning and land use designations.
Yes
19N
Charter school facilities exempt from ad valorem taxes and other assessment fees not applicable to other public schools.

Is there access to relevant employee retirement systems?

Massachusetts law requires charter schools to participate in the Massachusetts Teacher Retirement System. However, other school staff are prevented from participating in state retirement systems.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Yes
20A
Charter schools have access to relevant state retirement systems available to other public schools.
No
20B
Charter schools have the option to participate (i.e., not required).

Are there provisions for full-time virtual charter schools?

Massachusetts law does not allow full-time virtual charter schools.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
N/A
21A
An authorizing structure whereby full-time virtual charter schools that serve students from more than one district may be approved only by an authorizer with statewide chartering jurisdiction and authority, full-time virtual charter schools that serve students from one school district may be authorized by that school district, and a cap is placed on the total amount of funding that an authorizer may withhold from a full-time virtual charter school.
N/A
21B
Legally permissible criteria and processes for enrollment based on the existence of supports needed for student success.
N/A
21C
Enrollment level provisions that establish maximum enrollment levels for each year of a charter contract, with any increases in enrollment from one year to the next based on whether the school meets its performance requirements.
N/A
21D
Accountability provisions that include virtual-specific goals regarding student enrollment, attendance, engagement, achievement, truancy, and attrition.
N/A
21E
Funding levels per student based on costs proposed and justified by the operators.
N/A
21F
Performance-based funding whereby full-time virtual charter schools are funded via a performance-based funding system based on meeting the accountability performance provisions.