A. Chapter 40, Section 4E, An Act Relative to the Authority of Educational Collaboratives

B. Criteria for Approval

Collaboratives are initiated and managed locally. However, in order to gain state approval under Chapter 40, Section 4E, as amended, certain legal requirements must be met. A collaborative Agreement must be filed with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and approved by the Commissioner of Education. The Agreement must:

  1.  Name the Collaborative.
  2. Identify the participating school committees.
  3. Cite appropriate authorization in law, i.e. Chapter 40, Section 4E, as most recently amended.
  4. Provide for the formation of an education collaborative board.
  5. indicate that each member school committee will appoint, through an appropriate vote, one of its members or a designee or its superintendent or his/her designee to serve on the Collaborative Board of Directors
  6. state that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall appoint an individual to serve in an advisory capacity to the education collaborative board. The Department representative shall not be entitled to vote on any matter which comes before the board of directors of the education collaborative
  7. determine the method of voting of the Collaborative Board. Include language defining:
    • quorum
    • required percentage to pass a motion, e.g., majority, two-third, entire board, board members voting and present
    • the type of voting e.g. equal, weighted or joint voting
    • Optional Provisions
  8. determine the time period and method of organizing the Board officers
  9. determine the number and/or time period for meetings of the Board of Directors
  10. indicate that Board of Directors’ meetings will be held in compliance with the Open Meeting Law
  11. Address the powers and duties of the collaborative board
  12. the collaborative board shall have the authority to employ an executive director
  13. Other, e.g. language may be included relative to the Board’s ability to lease land, buildings and equipment, borrow money, establish by-laws and advisory councils, enter into contracts, sue, etc.
  14. State the purposes of the program(s) or service(s) to be offered by the Collaborative.  NOTE: Be as specific as possible, e.g. age range of children, type of services, etc.
  15. Provide for the establishment of an educational collaborative trust fund to be managed by the collaborative board.
  16. designate by an appropriate name
  17. state that all monies contributed by the member municipalities, and all grants or gifts from the federal government, state government, charitable foundations, private corporations, or any other source, shall be paid to the board of directors of the educational collaborative and deposited in the fund.
  18. Provide for the appointment of a treasurer by the collaborative board
    • the treasurer may be compensated for his/her services
    • the treasurer may be a treasurer of one of the member communities or school districts
  19. state that the treasurer must be bonded annually for the services he/she performs for the collaborative
  20. state that the treasurer shall be authorized, subject to the direction of the collaborative board, to receive and disburse all monies of the trust fund without further appropriatios
  21. state that no member of the collaborative board shall be eligible to serve as treasurer of said collaborative
  22. address the powers and duties of the collaborative treasurer, e.g.
    • authority to make appropriate investments of the trust fund consistent with Chapter 44, Section 54
    • responsibility for annual or periodic audits
    • other.
  23. Define the financial terms and conditions of membership. This provision may include the following:
    • a description of how administrative costs will be shared by collaborative members and defining administrative costs
    • a description of how programmatic costs will be shared by collaborative members and defining programmatic costs, e.g., per pupil cost, head count of all pupils in member districts
    • whether a non-member surcharge will be assessed for tuition-in students
    • whether there will be a penalty for early withdrawal from the collaborative.
    • whether there is a minimum time set for membership e.g. a leasing arrangement may require a one, two or more year(s) minimum financial commitment
    • a description of the method of payment by the collaborative and/or the members for any liability accrued by the collaborative (e.g. as a result of court action, audits of state or federal grants, previous debts, etc)
  24. Define the method of termination of the educational collaborative
    • include a time frame for giving notice of termination to all members, e.g., six months notice
    • include the effective date of termination, e.g., end of fiscal year
    • include a written method of notification to school committees
    • include required votes to terminate, e.g., 2/3, majority
    • state that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be notified through its regional office 30 days prior to the effective date of termination
      Note:

      Upon such notification, the Department program representative and the collaborative director/ Board of Directors will: (1) determine the appropriate disposition of federal funds, equipment and supplies, (2) determine a method of maintaining fiscal records upon termination of the collaborative, (3) determine a method of maintaining programmatic records upon termination of the collaborative

  25. include a method of disposing of assets by providing for a final fiscal audit of the collaborative or a method of determining all collaborative assets
  26. Provide for the method of withdrawal of member school committees
    • include a time frame for giving notice of withdrawal to the Board of Directors and/or School Committees, e.g., six months notice
    • include the effective date of withdrawal, e.g., end of fiscal year
    • include the method of notification, e.g., written notice to all Board members and/or school committees.
    • include a method of determining whether a withdrawing member receives a share of any assets of the collaborative
    • state that the Commissioner of Education will be notified through the appropriate regional education center, 30 days in advance of the effective date of the withdrawal of a member district
    • determine a method of assessing costs to a withdrawing district for any liability accrued during its participation
    • describe any limitations that may be imposed upon a withdrawing member, e.g., must wait certain amount of time before applying for readmission.
  27. Establish a procedure for admitting new members
    • state required votes of member school committees and/or collaborative board and new member(s)
    • include a time frame for admitting a new member, e.g., beginning of fiscal year, prior to budget approval
    • include a time frame for submitting notice of request for admission
    • state that the Commissioner of Education will be notified through the appropriate regional education center, 30 days prior to the effective date of the admission of a new member(s)
    • determine a method of assessing buy-in costs, if applicable
  28. Establish a procedure for amending the Collaborative Agreement
    • state required votes of member school committees and/or Collaborative Board
    • state that the Commissioner of Education must approve all amendments
    • provide for a notice and time frame of submitting amendments for approval and effective dates.
    • provide for a method of notifying member school committees
  29. Include the signatures of the chairpersons of each of the school committees participating in the proposed collaborative including that a vote of each member school committee has been taken to approve its participation in the collaborative and the date of such vote.

 

C. Listing of Educational Collaboratives