Senator Friedman is taking the lead on the following bills that were originally filed by the late Senator Ken Donnelly at the start of the 2017-2018 legislative session:
- Summary: This bill would create a commission to develop a proposal for the establishment of a universal civics education and public service program for Massachusetts youth.
- Summary: This bill would give school districts the flexibility to calculate the number of economically disadvantaged students attending schools in several different ways in order to ensure that children in need of school lunches receive those lunches. It would also set up a commission to study how best to make the calculation so that economically disadvantaged children are counted accurately.
- Summary: This bill would extend the loan repayment period from 48 months to 96 months for teachers who entered the profession after 1994 and are in the top 15% of their undergraduate class or who have graduated with honors.
- Summary: This bill would establish certain education, workforce development and employment data reporting mechanisms at the public higher education level to better inform the state’s workforce planning strategies.
- Summary: This bill would require private universities in Massachusetts with endowments over $1 billion to pay a 2.5% tax on that endowment money. This would raise roughly $1.5 billion annually from the 9 Massachusetts colleges and universities with endowments over $1 billion. The money would be held in an Educational Opportunity For All Trust Fund to be used explicitly for funding early education vouchers for eligible families and to fund needs-blind admission in Massachusetts public higher education institutions.
Senator Friedman has co-sponsored the following bills relative to education in the 2017-2018 legislative session:
- Summary: This bill would create a Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) to reimburse students who are entitled to a refund of tuition and related costs if a for-profit school they attended closed, failed to provide the services promised to their students, or violated state law. Twenty-one other states have STRFs or similar funds.
- Summary: This bill would establish a Student Loan Borrowers’ Bill of Rights, which would: (1) establish a Student Loan Ombudsman in the Division of Banks to be funded by licensing fees levied on student loan servicers; (2) require student loan servicers to be licensed through the Division of Banks and gives the Commissioner the power to enforce new rules and regulations related to student loan servicers; and (3) require state employees to be informed of their right to public loan forgiveness.
- Summary: This bill would amend the Foundation Budget to add more funding for education. It would also codify certain recommendations set forth by the Foundation Budget Review Commission relative to the tuitioned-out special education rate, assumed in-school special education enrollment, low-income increment, low-income enrollment, foundation benefits, retired employee health insurance, and English language learner increment.