October 1, 2023


Andrea Campbell’s certification was the primary main step, however extra hurdles stay earlier than these questions will be put earlier than voters subsequent fall.

State Rep. Mike Connolly and his supporters collect in entrance of the State Home after he acquired discover that his petition to raise the statewide ban on lease management was licensed by Lawyer Common Andrea Campbell. Pat Greenhouse/Boston Globe

After a couple of month of deliberation, Lawyer Common Andrea Campbell introduced Wednesday that her workplace had licensed a slew of poll questions, together with one about eliminating the MCAS check scoring as a commencement requirement for college kids and one other about undoing the state’s ban on lease management.

Proponents have been ready to see if Campbell’s inexperienced gentle would come via, permitting them to take the subsequent steps towards including their inquiries to ballots within the fall of 2024. Now, these behind the proposed legal guidelines should collect simply wanting 75,000 voter signatures by Dec. 6. If that hurdle is cleared, the poll questions would must be reviewed by the Legislature starting in January. Greater than 12,000 further signatures would then be required by early July. 

Different notable questions licensed by Campbell embody one that will permit State Auditor Diana DiZoglio to audit the Legislature, and others that concern how app-based rideshare and supply drivers are categorized. 

Of the 42 initiative petitions that Campbell’s workplace reviewed, 34 have been licensed, which means that they met sure constitutional necessities. This contains 31 proposed legal guidelines and three proposed constitutional amendments. Campbell’s workplace reiterated that certification doesn’t symbolize assist or opposition to those insurance policies.

The measure to take away MCAS as a barrier to commencement was backed by the complete weight of the state’s largest academics union. The Massachusetts Academics Affiliation has made an opposition to “excessive stakes” testing a core element of its work. The MTA has argued that utilizing MCAS as a commencement requirement disproportionately impacts college students of shade and people with individualized schooling plans. Opponents of the check additionally argue that it causes educators to “slender” their curricula by instructing for the check particularly. Massachusetts is considered one of solely eight states that requires college students to move a standardized check to graduate from highschool. 

If handed, the measure wouldn’t remove MCAS altogether. College students would nonetheless must take the check in tenth grade, and people that don’t move could be required to take it once more in both eleventh or twelfth grade. As a substitute of utilizing MCAS scores as a commencement requirement, faculty districts must implement their very own “domestically developed options for certifying tutorial mastery.” 

The proposed legislation would additionally permit former college students who have been denied a highschool diploma due to poor MCAS scores to obtain their diploma in the event that they met all different necessities. Details about a pupil’s MCAS efficiency couldn’t be included on their official highschool transcript with out their written permission. 

In 1994, Massachusetts voters opted to successfully ban lease management. Now, State Rep. Mike Connolly is hoping to provide voters the possibility to carry it again. 

Connolly filed the petition as a personal citizen final month. It could give voters the ability to remove the ban on lease management and substitute it with a brand new legislation that provides native officers the ability to implement tenant safety measures how they see match. 

Earlier this 12 months, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu launched her personal plan to introduce lease management to town earlier this 12 months. It was accredited by the Metropolis Council, however has thus far stalled within the State Home. 

Connolly’s petition was met with stiff opposition from the Fiscal Alliance Basis, a authorities watchdog and advocacy group that argued it violated components of the state structure.