Mass. Senate Backs Reforms For Special Ed Groups
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously approved a bill targeting financial abuse and mismanagement at education collaboratives in the state.
The measure was prompted by investigations last year of the Merrimack Special Education Collaborative, which uncovered lavish spending on entertainment, unjustified salary expenses and improper charges to a related nonprofit group.
A state audit also turned up evidence of misspent funds at two other taxpayer-funded collaboratives, among 30 statewide that allow school districts to pool resources to serve special needs children.
Sponsors of the bill say it will improve financial oversight and accountability and require that the collaboratives be governed independently from any related nonprofit.
The bill passed the Senate 37-0 on Tuesday and now heads to the House.
An organization representing the collaboratives calls the measure “a positive step.”