12/5/2012, 8:23 a.m.
State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz received the 2012 Walter G. Turner Award from the National Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA). Chang-Díaz and her Education Committee co-chair, Representative Alice Peisch (D-Wellesley), were selected for their work reforming the state’s system of education collaboratives.
Education collaboratives are entities that enable school districts to pool their resources to achieve shared goals, such as serving severe-need special education students or professional development for teachers.
State officials and the public called for immediate action last fall after investigations by the State Auditor and Inspector General uncovered a serious misuse of funding at the Merrimack Special Education Collaborative and other collaboratives around the state. The Education Committee held a series of oversight hearings on the financial abuses, and Chang-Díaz filed a collaboratives reform bill that became the first piece of legislation passed by the Senate this year.
Chang-Díaz and Peisch were also selected for their contributions to the advancement of regional education programs in Massachusetts.
The award comes on the heels of another education award Chang-Díaz received earlier this month, the Legislator of the Year award from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.