It’s been widely reported, both at Patch and other mainstream media outlets, that a last-minute addition to the state’s 2012-13 budget allows cities and counties to skip Brown Act requirements that they post meeting agendas 72 hours in advance. In addition, the new rules allow local boards and councils to forgo publicly disclosing actions taken during closed-session meetings.
School boards and governing bodies for community college districts, however, do not have that option.
School districts remain governed by the state Education Code and other rules, and therefore remain legally obligated to post agendas 72 hours in advance and publicly disclose closed-session actions.
“Obligations under the Brown Act remain fully in effect for school districts and colleges,” according to School Services of California, a consultant hired by school districts throughout the state. “Open meeting and ‘sunshine’ requirements come not only from the Brown Act but also from the education code, the California constitution, board policy and other sources.”
The case for charter schools, however, is more ambiguous. A package of bills (AB 360, AB 440, SB 645) that was intended to expressly address transparency and governance was held back until this fall, pending further negotiations with the governor and Assemblymember Julia Brownley and Sen. Joe Simitian.
Bullis Charter School chairman .