03/10/2017

Education

An Act relative to financial literacy in schools – S.249

The bill would equip students in grades pre-kindergarten to 12, inclusive, with the knowledge and skills needed to become self-supporting and to enable students to make critical decisions regarding personal finances. The bill would also require the department to make available to school districts, charter schools, approved private day or residential schools, and collaborative schools a list of resources to aid in the selection of materials and curriculum on personal financial literacy.

An Act providing equal access to the bureau of special education appeals – S.250

The bill would require the director of special education appeals to hire an attorney to equip unrepresented parents with information to better understand and assess the bureau of special education’s process of dispute resolution.

An Act promoting access to debt-free public higher education – S.681

The bill would require the state to cover the cost of all tuition and mandatory curriculum or course fees not covered by state or federal grants through the FAFSA process for eligible students attending a public higher education institution in Massachusetts. The “College For All” bill would also require the state to provide financial assistance to cover housing and transportation costs for Massachusetts residents whose annual household income is at or below the median income in the Commonwealth.

An Act establishing a special commission to two-generation approaches to childhood education – S.38

The bill creates a Special Commission on Two-Generation Approaches to study and make recommendations concerning the implementation of two-generation systems in Massachusetts. The Commission shall report the results and draft legislation necessary to implement two-generation approaches within a year of the effective date.

An Act creating a child savings program – S.682

The bill directs MEFA to establish a college savings program for children and match deposit funds (up to $250 annually) for children whose family is eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Withdrawals from the account may be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies, living expenses, or travel to and from school.

An Act relative to water bottle filling stations in public schools – S.251

This bill develops a grant program which will be used to increase access to free potable drinking water for students in public elementary and secondary schools. Massachusetts recently received a “D” grade in a report examining lead in the drinking water in state public schools. This bill requires lead and copper tests in schools’ drinking water and provides funds for a filtered bottle filling station.