Massachusetts - Family Engagement in Local Governance: Stakeholders

Area: 
Stakeholders
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law requires parent or family member representation on school governance councils or in school improvement planning efforts.

Massachusetts General Laws ch 71.59C School councils; members; meetings; duties

At each public elementary, secondary and independent vocational school in the commonwealth there shall be a school council consisting of the school principal, who shall co–chair the council; parents of students attending the school who shall be selected by the parents of students attending such school who will be chosen in elections held by the local recognized parent teacher organization under the direction of the principal, or if none exists, chosen by a representative process approved by the school committee. Said parents shall have parity with professional personnel on the school councils; teachers who shall be selected by the teachers in such school; other persons, not parents or teachers of students at the school, drawn from such groups or entities as municipal government, business and labor organizations, institutions of higher education, human services agencies or other interested groups including those from school age child care programs; and for schools containing any of the grades nine to twelve, at least one such student; provided, however, that not more that fifty percent of the council shall be non–school members. The principal, except as otherwise provided herein, shall have the responsibility for defining the composition of and forming the group pursuant to a representative process approved by the superintendent and school committee and for convening the first meeting no later than forty days after the first day of school, at which meeting a co–chairman shall be selected. School councils should be broadly representative of the racial and ethnic diversity of the school building and community. For purposes of this paragraph the term “non–school members” shall mean those members of the council, other than parents, teachers, students and staff of the school.

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