K-12 Governance Structures: State Profile

K-12 Governance Structures: State Profile - Massachusetts

November 2017


Data are collected using publicly available state constitutional language and state statutes. Updated as of Nov. 1, 2017.
 

Governor
What constitutional or statutory duties does the governor have as it relates to education? There shall be a supreme executive magistrate, who shall be styled, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Bills that have passed both the senate and the house of representatives must be submitted to the governor for his approval. If he disapproves, he shall return the bill with his objections.

The governor may disapprove or reduce items or parts of items in any bill appropriating money.
What is the appointment authority provided to the governor in education? The governor appoints nine members of the board of elementary and secondary education. Additionally, the governor may appoint the secretary of education who oversees the executive office of education.
Are the governor’s duties and powers and found in the state constitution? No
Are the governor’s duties and powers and found in the state statute? Yes
Citation M.G.L.A. Const. Pt. 2, C. 2, § 1, Art. 1
M.G.L.A. Const. Pt. 2, C. 1, § 1, Art. 2
M.G.L.A. Const. Amend. Art. 63, § 5
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 15 § 1E
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 6A § 14A
Legislature
What constitutional or statutory powers does the legislature have as it relates to education policy? The department of legislation shall be formed by two branches, a senate and a house of representatives: each of which shall have a negative on the other.

It shall be the duty of legislatures and magistrates, in all future periods of this commonwealth, to cherish the interests of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries of them; especially the university at Cambridge, public schools and grammar schools in the towns; to encourage private societies and public institutions, rewards and immunities, for the promotion of agriculture, arts, sciences, commerce, trades, manufactures, and a natural history of the country; to countenance and inculcate the principles of humanity and general benevolence, public and private charity, industry and frugality, honesty and punctuality in their dealings; sincerity, good humor, and all social affections, and generous sentiments among the people.
What is the appointment or confirmation authority of the legislature in education? N/A
Which committees in the legislature have jurisdiction over education issues? Joint:
Education
Constitutional? Yes
Statutory? No
Citations M.G.L.A. Const. Pt. 2, C. 1, § 1, Art. 1
M.G.L.A. Const. Pt. 2, C. 5, § 2
Chief State School Officer
What are the duties of the chief state officer? The commissioner of education shall be the secretary to the state board of elementary and secondary education.

Commissioner duties includes:

-Organizing the department of elementary and secondary education.

-Prepare and submit to the secretary a five year master plan for elementary, secondary, and vocational-technical education in the commonwealth.

-Assist school districts in the development of school based management systems.

-Assess program effectiveness.

-Facilitate school partnerships.
What constitutional or statutory authority does the chief state school officer have as it relates to education policy? The commissioner acts as the chief executive officer and chief state school officer for elementary and secondary education.

The commissioner provides supervision and management over the department of elementary and secondary education.
How is the chief state school officer selected? The board shall by a two-thirds vote of all its members submit to the secretary, for the secretary's approval, a recommended candidate for the commissioner's role. The secretary may appoint the commissioner only from candidates submitted to the secretary by the board.
Constitutional? No
Statutory? Yes
Citation Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 15 § 1F
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 69 § 1A
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 15 § 1
State Board of Education
What constitutional or statutory powers and duties does the state board of education have as it relates to education policy? The board of education is required to establish policies relative to the education of students in public early childhood, elementary, secondary and vocational-technical schools.

The board establishes standards for certifying all teachers, principals, and administrators in early childhood, elementary, secondary and vocational-technical schools.

Additionally, the board directs and supports the administrative duties of local schools by establishing the process and standards for audits, providing technical assistance on curriculum and materials, ensuring compliance with board policy and statute, ensuring administrative efficiencies in the department and in schools, identifying low-performing schools, and overseeing school accountability and reporting in addition to other duties.

The board also recommends the commissioner of elementary and secondary education to the secretary of education.
What is the composition of the state board of education? The state board of elementary and secondary education consists of the chairman of the student advisory council, the secretary of education, and nine appointed members consisting of 1 representative of a labor organization provided by the state chapter of the AFL-CIO, 1 representative of business or industry, 1 representative of parents of school children selected from a list of three submitted by the state PTA, and six additional members.
How are members of the state board of education selected? All members of the state board are appointed by the governor.
Constitutional? No
Statutory? Yes
Citation Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 69 § 1B
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 15 § 1F
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 15 § 1E
Executive-Level Secretary
Does the state have an executive-level secretary? The governor appoints the secretary of education, who oversees the executive office of education.
What other duties does the executive-level secretary have? The secretary analyzes the present and future goals of education in the commonwealth, approves the mission statement and master plans in elementary, secondary, and higher education. Additionally, the secretary approves the appointments of the commissioners of early education and care, elementary and secondary education, and higher education. The secretary makes funding recommendations to the governor, serves as the governor's advisor on educational issues, and serves on the boards of early childhood, elementary, secondary, and higher education.
Constitutional? No
Statutory? Yes
Citation Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 6A § 14A

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