There shall be a task force to study and develop recommendations on the training and certification of language interpreters in educational settings to improve language access for limited English proficient parents. The task force shall consist of the following members or their designees: the commissioner of elementary and secondary education, who shall serve as chair; the executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, Inc.; the executive director of the Massachusetts Administrators for Special Education; and 5 persons to be appointed by the commissioner of elementary and secondary education, 1 of whom shall be a representative from a professional educational interpreters program at a university in the commonwealth, 1 of whom shall be a representative from the Massachusetts chapter of the Multistate Association for Bilingual Education, 1 of whom shall be a representative from Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Inc. and 2 of whom shall be parents designated by The Federation for Children with Special Needs, Inc.
The task force shall: (i) research the knowledge, skills and competencies necessary to serve as an interpreter in school settings including, but not limited to, language proficiency, knowledge of education-specific terminology and concepts, confidentiality and ethics of interpreting and an understanding of the role and function of an interpreter; (ii) investigate existing interpreter training programs and report on any changes to such programs that are necessary to appropriately train interpreters working in school settings; and (iii) research existing interpreter assessments, certifications and credentials and report on changes needed to assess, certify or credential interpreters working in school settings.
The task force shall apply its findings to develop recommendations on the following: (i) the knowledge, skill and competency requirements necessary to serve as an interpreter in school settings; (ii) the training, assessment and certification of interpreters in school settings; and (iii) endorsements, certifications, credentials or assessments, if any, that should be established by the board of elementary and secondary education to ensure a reasonable supply of qualified interpreters for use in school settings.
Not later than December 31, 2018, the task force shall submit a report on the results of its investigation and study and its recommendations, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry those recommendations into effect, by filing the same with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives and the chairs of the joint committee on education.