SECTION 26. Public Schools|
- Upon approval of the reuse plan and by-laws by the towns, pursuant to section ten, and notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the bank shall be the public agency responsible for ensuring that persons residing at Devens will receive the same educational benefits and opportunities to which other persons in the commonwealth are entitled under the General Laws.
- The bank shall initially discharge its responsibilities set forth in this section by entering into a contract or contracts with the school committee or committees, following a public hearing, of one or more of the towns, or of any other municipality or district within the commonwealth, to provide to persons residing at Devens all the education and education-related services to which such persons would be entitled if they resided in the school district which the contracted school committee serves; which school district shall, for the term of the contract, serve as their district of residence for purposes of all general and special laws related to public education.
- The bank shall be responsible for the actual costs incurred by the contracted school committee in providing education and education-related services to the residents of Devens during the term of the contract, the determination of these costs and the terms for payment of these amounts to be set forth in the contract.
- The initial contract or contracts shall be executed on or before July first, nineteen hundred and ninety-five, shall be for a term not fewer than five years, and shall be subject to review and approval by the commissioner of education to ensure compliance with all state and federal public education laws.
- At least one year prior to the expiration of the initial contract or contracts, the bank shall either enter into agreement to renew the contract or contracts, contract with one or more other school committees following public hearings to assure the bank's responsibilities to provide education and education-related services to which persons residing at Devens are legally entitled, or, subject to approval of the commissioner of education, begin undertaking the necessary preparations to form a regional school districts with one or more of the towns or nearby municipalities or to operate its own school system.
- For the purposes of providing advice and consultation to the bank regarding educational and education-related issues and concerns pertaining to persons who reside at Devens, there is hereby established a Devens educational advisory committee comprised of one representative each from the schools committees of each of the towns and four persons residing within Devens, said residents to be elected biannually at an open public meeting of Devens residents, at least two of whom shall be parents of school age children. Said advisory committee shall meet at least quarterly with the board of directors of the bank for the purposes of reviewing educational issues bank regarding educational and education-related issues and concerns of persons residing at Devens, and advising the bank on matters related to its contract or contracts for the provision of educational and education-related services to persons residing at Devens.
- In the event the reuse plan and by-laws are not approved and the bank exercises its right to abandon its activities related to the operation, maintenance and redevelopment of Devens, pursuant to section ten, the obligations of the bank under this section shall be given no further force and effect, in which event the education of persons residing within the area designated as Devens shall remain the responsibility of the town in which such persons reside.
- In the event the reuse plan and by-laws are approved, but the bank is unable, after diligent efforts to contract with one or more school committees to provide educational and education-related services to the persons residing at Devens or to establish its own school system, the bank shall promptly so notify the towns, and it shall be the responsibility of each town in which such persons actually reside to provide those services to its residents. The bank, however, shall remain financially responsible for the education of persons residing at Devens, and each town may assess the bank on a semiannual basis, and the bank shall pay to the towns, the actual costs of providing such services, which costs shall include but not be limited to transportation, capital expenses, bond payments, operating and maintenance of facilities, personnel benefits, special education and related services, and general administration, or pro rata basis as deemed appropriate by agreement of the school committee of each town and the bank.