Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Citizens' Guide to State Services

Published by
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
Citizen Information Service

Education/Arts: Public Education Alternatives

E13 Charter School and School Redsign

E14 School Choice Program


E13 Charter School and School Redsign
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906
Tel: 781-338-3227
Fax: 781-338-3220
www.doe.mass.edu/charter/
E-mail: charterschools@doe.mass.edu

Authorized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Education Reform Act of 1993, charter schools are independent public schools that operate under five year charters granted by the Commonwealth's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. The increased freedom available to charter schools coupled with increased accountability infuses all aspects of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's oversight of charter schools, beginning with the rigorous application process that groups must go through to receive a charter. Once the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has awarded a charter, the new charter school has the freedom to organize around a core mission, curriculum, theme, or teaching method. It is allowed to control its own budget and hire and fire teachers and staff. In return for this freedom, a charter school must demonstrate good results within five years or risk losing its charter.


E14 School Choice Program
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906
Tel: 781-338-6585
http://wwww.doe.mass.edu/schoolchoice/

The Massachusetts school choice law (General Laws Chapter 76, Section 12B) was enacted in 1991 to allow parents to send their children to public schools in communities other than that in which they reside. School committees choose whether or not to become school choice receiving districts, and they may designate a maximum number of available school choice seats for an upcoming year. If there are more applicants than available openings, the selection of students must be conducted on a random basis, and must be free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religious creed, national original, sex, age, sexual orientation, ancestry, athletic performance, physical handicap, special need or academic proficiency. Regulations governing a reimbursement program which allows for the reimbursement of transportation costs to low income parents whose children are participating in school choice are in place.


Go back to the:

Citizens' Guide to State Services Table of Contents

Search Citizens Information Service Home PageHome Page of the Secretary of the Commonwealth