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SB-126 Charter schools.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/05/2019 09:00 PM
SB126:v96#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 126
CHAPTER 3

An act to add Section 47604.1 to the Education Code, relating to charter schools.

[ Approved by Governor  March 05, 2019. Filed with Secretary of State  March 05, 2019. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 126, Leyva. Charter schools.
(1) The Ralph M. Brown Act requires that all meetings of the legislative body, as defined, of a local agency be open and public and all persons be permitted to attend unless a closed session is authorized. The Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act requires, with specified exceptions, that all meetings of a state body be open and public and all persons be permitted to attend.
This bill would expressly state that charter schools and entities managing charter schools are subject to the Ralph M. Brown Act, unless the charter school is operated by an entity governed by the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, in which case the charter school would be subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, except as specified.
This bill would require specified charter schools or entities managing charter schools to hold meetings in specified locations. The bill would prohibit a meeting of the governing body of a charter school to discuss items related to the operation of the charter school from including the discussion of any item regarding an activity of the governing body that is unrelated to the operation of the charter school.
(2) The California Public Records Act requires state and local agencies to make their records available for public inspection and to make copies available upon request and payment of a fee unless the records are exempt from disclosure.
This bill would expressly state that charter schools and entities managing charter schools are subject to the California Public Records Act, except as specified.
(3) Existing law prohibits certain public officials, including, but not limited to, state, county, or district officers or employees, from being financially interested in any contract made by them in their official capacity or by any body or board of which they are members, except as provided.
This bill would expressly state that charter schools and entities managing charter schools are subject to these provisions, except that the bill would provide that an employee of a charter school is not disqualified from serving as a member of the governing body of the charter school because of that employment status. The bill would require a member of the governing body of a charter school who is also an employee of the charter school to abstain from voting on, or influencing or attempting to influence another member of that body regarding, any matter uniquely affecting that member’s own employment.
(4) The Political Reform Act of 1974 requires every state agency and local governmental agency to adopt a conflict-of-interest code, formulated at the most decentralized level possible, that requires designated employees of the agency to file statements of economic interest disclosing any investments, business positions, interests in real property, or sources of income that may foreseeably be affected materially by any governmental decision made or participated in by the designated employee by virtue of that employee’s position.
This bill would expressly state that charter schools and entities managing charter schools are subject to the Political Reform Act of 1974, except as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 47604.1 is added to the Education Code, to read:

47604.1.
 (a) For purposes of this section, an “entity managing a charter school” means a nonprofit public benefit corporation that operates a charter school consistent with Section 47604. An entity that is not authorized to operate a charter school pursuant to Section 47604 is not an “entity managing a charter school” solely because it contracts with a charter school to provide to that charter school goods or task-related services that are performed at the direction of the governing body of the charter school and for which the governing body retains ultimate decisionmaking authority.
(b) A charter school and an entity managing a charter school shall be subject to all of the following:
(1) The Ralph M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code), except that a charter school operated by an entity pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 47620) shall be subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) regardless of the authorizing entity.
(2) (A) The California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).
(B) (i) The chartering authority of a charter school shall be the custodian of records with regard to any request for information submitted to the charter school if either of the following apply:
(I) The charter school is located on a federally recognized California Indian reservation or rancheria.
(II) The charter school is operated by a nonprofit public benefit corporation that was formed on or before May 31, 2002, and is currently operated by a federally recognized California Indian tribe.
(ii) This subparagraph does not allow a chartering authority to delay or obstruct access to records otherwise required under the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).
(3) Article 4 (commencing with Section 1090) of Chapter 1 of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code.
(4) (A) The Political Reform Act of 1974 (Title 9 (commencing with Section 81000) of the Government Code).
(B) For purposes of Section 87300 of the Government Code, a charter school and an entity managing a charter school shall be considered an agency and is the most decentralized level for purposes of adopting a conflict-of-interest code.
(c) (1) (A) The governing body of one charter school shall meet within the physical boundaries of the county in which the charter school is located.
(B) A two-way teleconference location shall be established at each schoolsite.
(2) (A) The governing body of one nonclassroom-based charter school that does not have a facility or operates one or more resource centers shall meet within the physical boundaries of the county in which the greatest number of pupils who are enrolled in that charter school reside.
(B) A two-way teleconference location shall be established at each resource center.
(3) (A) For a governing body of an entity managing one or more charter schools located within the same county, the governing body of the entity managing a charter school shall meet within the physical boundaries of the county in which that charter school or schools are located.
(B) A two-way teleconference location shall be established at each schoolsite and each resource center.
(4) (A) For a governing body of an entity that manages two or more charter schools that are not located in the same county, the governing body of the entity managing the charter schools shall meet within the physical boundaries of the county in which the greatest number of pupils enrolled in those charter schools managed by that entity reside.
(B) A two-way teleconference location shall be established at each schoolsite and each resource center.
(C) The governing body of the entity managing the charter schools shall audio record, video record, or both, all the governing board meetings and post the recordings on each charter school’s internet website.
(5) This subdivision does not limit the authority of the governing body of a charter school and an entity managing a charter school to meet outside the boundaries described in this subdivision if authorized by Section 54954 of the Government Code, and the meeting place complies with Section 54961 of the Government Code.
(d) Notwithstanding Article 4 (commencing with Section 1090) of Chapter 1 of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code, an employee of a charter school shall not be disqualified from serving as a member of the governing body of the charter school because of that employee’s employment status. A member of the governing body of a charter school who is also an employee of the charter school shall abstain from voting on, or influencing or attempting to influence another member of the governing body regarding, all matters uniquely affecting that member’s employment.
(e) To the extent a governing body of a charter school or an entity managing a charter school engages in activities that are unrelated to a charter school, Article 4 (commencing with Section 1090) of Chapter 1 of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code, the Ralph M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code), the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code), and the Political Reform Act of 1974 (Title 9 (commencing with Section 81000) of the Government Code) shall not apply with regard to those unrelated activities unless otherwise required by law.
(f) A meeting of the governing body of a charter school to discuss items related to the operation of the charter school shall not include the discussion of any item regarding an activity of the governing body that is unrelated to the operation of the charter school.