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AB-824 Local educational agencies: county boards of education: governing bodies of charter schools: pupil members.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 04/14/2021 09:00 PM
AB824:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 14, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 824


Introduced by Assembly Member Bennett

February 16, 2021


An act to amend Sections 1000 and 47604.1 of Section 1000 of, and to add Section 47604.2 to, the Education Code, relating to local educational agencies.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 824, as amended, Bennett. Local educational agencies: county boards of education: governing bodies of charter schools: pupil members.
(1) Existing law establishes a system of public elementary and secondary education in this state under which local educational agencies, such as school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools provide instruction to pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive. Existing law establishes governing bodies for these local educational agencies. Existing law authorizes school district governing boards to appoint one or more high school pupils as members in response to a petition from high school pupils of the school district requesting the governing board to appoint one or more pupil members.
This bill would authorize county boards of education and charter schools to also appoint one or more high school pupils as members of their governing bodies in response to petitions from high school pupils enrolled in their county, or in their charter school, as appropriate. Because the bill would add to the duties of county boards of education and governing bodies of charter schools to respond to petitions from high school pupils, it would constitute a state-mandated local program.
(2) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 1000 of the Education Code is amended to read:

1000.
 (a) Except in a city and county, there shall be a county board of education, which shall, except as provided in subdivision (b), consist of five or seven members to be determined by the county committee on school district organization. Each member of the board shall be an elector of the trustee area that the member represents, and shall be elected by the electors of the trustee area. In chartered counties, the manner of selection of the county board of education shall be prescribed in the county charter, or by the county board of supervisors. In a county unified school district or in a unified or elementary school district that includes all of the territory over which a county superintendent of schools has jurisdiction, the governing board of the district shall serve as the county board of education.
(b) (1) There may be submitted to the county board of education of a county maintaining one or more high schools a pupil petition requesting the county board of education to appoint one or more pupil members to the county board of education pursuant to this section.
(2) The petition shall contain the signatures of either (A) not less than 1,000 pupils regularly enrolled in high schools of the county, that are under the jurisdiction of the county board of education, or (B) not less than 10 percent of the number of pupils regularly enrolled in high schools of the county, that are under the jurisdiction of the county board of education, whichever is less. Each fiscal year, and within 60 days of receipt of a petition for pupil representation, or at its next regularly scheduled meeting if no meeting is held within those 60 days, the county board of education shall order the inclusion within the membership of the county board of education, in addition to the number of members otherwise prescribed, of at least one pupil member. The county board of education may order the inclusion of more than one pupil member.
(3) Upon receipt of a petition for pupil representation, the county board of education shall, commencing July 1, 2022, 2023, and each year thereafter, order the inclusion within the membership of the county board of education, in addition to the number of members otherwise prescribed, of at least one pupil member. The county board of education may order the inclusion of more than one pupil member. The county board of education may appoint a pupil to serve as an alternate pupil member who would fulfill all duties and have the same rights as a pupil member if the county board of education determines the pupil member is not fulfilling their duties. If the county board of education appoints an alternate pupil member, the county board of education shall suspend the prior pupil member’s rights and privileges related to service on the county board of education.
(4) (A) A pupil member of the county board of education shall have preferential voting rights.
(B) Preferential voting, as used in this section, means a formal expression of opinion that is recorded in the minutes and cast before the official vote of the county board of education. A preferential vote shall not serve in determining the final numerical outcome of a vote. No preferential vote shall be solicited on matters subject to closed session discussion.
(5) The county board of education may adopt a resolution authorizing the pupil member or members to make motions that may be acted upon by the county board of education, except on matters dealing with employer-employee relations pursuant to Chapter 10.7 (commencing with Section 3540) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code.
(6) (A) Each pupil member shall have the right to attend each and all meetings of the county board of education, except executive sessions.
(B) (i) Each pupil member shall be appointed to subcommittees of the county board of education in the same manner as other board members.
(ii) Each pupil member shall be made aware of the time commitment required to participate in subcommittee meetings and work, and may decline an appointment to a subcommittee.
(iii) Subcommittee meetings may be scheduled in accordance with the availability of all members, including each pupil member.
(7) Any pupil selected to serve as a member of the county board of education shall be enrolled in a high school within the county, that is under the jurisdiction of the county board of education, may be less than 18 years of age, and shall be chosen by the pupils enrolled in the high school or high schools of the county in accordance with procedures prescribed by the county board of education. The term of a pupil member shall be one year, commencing on July 1 of each year.
(8) A pupil member shall be entitled to the mileage allowance to the same extent as regular members, but is not entitled to the compensation prescribed in Section 35120, except as specified in subdivision (f) of Section 35120.
(9) (A) A pupil member shall be seated with the members of the county board of education, and shall be recognized as a full member of the county board of education at the meetings, including receiving all open meeting materials presented to the board members at the same time the materials are presented to the other board members, being invited to staff briefings of board members, or being provided a separate staff briefing within the same timeframe as the staff briefing of other board members, being invited to attend other functions of the county board of education, such as forums, meetings with pupils and parents, and other general assemblies, and participating in the questioning of witnesses and the discussion of issues.
(B) A pupil member shall also receive all materials received by other board members between open meetings, except for materials that pertain to closed session items.
(10) The A pupil member shall not be included in determining the vote required to carry any measure before the county board of education.
(11) The A pupil member shall not be liable for any acts of the county board of education.
(12) A majority vote of all voting board members shall be required to approve a motion to eliminate the a pupil member position from the county board of education. The motion shall be listed as a public agenda item for a meeting of the county board of education before the motion is voted upon.
(c) Pupil members of a county board of education shall not be considered members of a legislative body or a local agency for purposes of the Ralph M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code).

SEC. 2.Section 47604.1 of the Education Code is amended 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)(1)There may be submitted to the governing body of a charter school attended by high school pupils a pupil petition requesting the governing body of the charter school to appoint one or more pupil members to the governing body of the charter school pursuant to this section.

(2)The petition shall contain the signatures of not less than 10 percent of the number of pupils regularly enrolled in high school within the charter school. Each fiscal year, and within 60 days of receipt of a petition for pupil representation, or at its next regularly scheduled meeting if no meeting is held within those 60 days, the governing body of the charter school shall order the inclusion within the membership of the governing body of the charter school, in addition to the number of members otherwise prescribed, at least one pupil member. The governing body of the charter school may order the inclusion of more than one pupil member.

(3)Upon receipt of a petition for pupil representation, the governing body of a charter school shall, commencing July 1, 2022, and each year thereafter, order the inclusion within the membership of the governing body of the charter school, in addition to the number of members otherwise prescribed, at least one pupil member. The governing body of a charter school may order the inclusion of more than one pupil member. The governing body of a charter school may appoint a pupil to serve as an alternate pupil member who would fulfill all duties and have the same rights as a pupil member if the governing body of a charter school determines the pupil member is not fulfilling their duties. If the governing body of a charter school appoints an alternate pupil member, the governing body of a charter school shall suspend the prior pupil member’s rights and privileges related to service on the governing body of a charter school.

(4)Each pupil member shall have the right to attend each and all meetings of the governing body of a charter school, except executive sessions.

(5)Any pupil selected to serve as a member of the governing body of a charter school shall be enrolled in high school within the charter school, may be less than 18 years of age, and shall be chosen by the pupils enrolled in high school within the charter school in accordance with procedures prescribed by the governing body of the charter school. The term of a pupil member shall be one year, commencing on July 1 of each year.

(6)(A)A pupil member shall be seated with the members of the governing body of a charter school, and shall be recognized as a full member of the governing body of a charter school at the meetings, including receiving all open meeting materials presented to the board members at the same time the materials are presented to the other board members, being invited to staff briefings of board members, or being provided a separate staff briefing within the same timeframe as the staff briefing of other board members, being invited to attend other functions of the governing board of a charter school, such as forums, meetings with pupils and parents, and other general assemblies, and participating in the questioning of witnesses and the discussion of issues.

(B)A pupil member shall also receive all materials received by other board members between open meetings, except for materials that pertain to closed session items.

(7)The pupil member shall not be liable for any acts of the governing body of a charter school.

(8)A majority vote of all voting board members shall be required to approve a motion to eliminate the pupil member position from the governing body of a charter school.

(f)Pupil members of the governing body of a charter school shall not be considered members of a legislative body or a local agency for purposes of the Ralph M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code).

(g)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.

(h)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.

(i)The requirements of this section shall not be waived by the state board pursuant to Section 33050 or any other law.

SEC. 2.

 Section 47604.2 is added to the Education Code, to read:

47604.2.
 (a) For purposes of this section, “entity managing a charter school” has the same meaning as described in subdivision (a) of Section 47604.1.
(b) (1) There may be submitted to the governing body of a charter school attended by high school pupils a pupil petition requesting the governing body of the charter school to appoint one or more pupil members to the governing body of the charter school pursuant to this section.
(2) The petition shall contain the signatures of either (A) not less than 500 pupils regularly enrolled in the high school of the charter school, or (B) not less than 10 percent of the number of pupils regularly enrolled in the high school of the charter school. If a charter school attended by high school pupils is operated by an entity managing a charter school, then the petition shall contain the signatures of either (A) not less than 500 pupils regularly enrolled in any of the high schools operated by the entity managing a charter school, or (B) not less than 10 percent of the number of pupils regularly enrolled in high schools operated by the entity managing a charter school. Each fiscal year, and within 60 days of receipt of a petition for pupil representation, or at its next regularly scheduled meeting if no meeting is held within those 60 days, the governing body of the charter school shall order the inclusion within the membership of the governing body of the charter school, in addition to the number of members otherwise prescribed, of at least one pupil member. The governing body of the charter school may order the inclusion of more than one pupil member.
(3) Upon receipt of a petition for pupil representation, the governing body of a charter school shall, commencing July 1, 2023, and each year thereafter, order the inclusion within the membership of the governing body of the charter school, in addition to the number of members otherwise prescribed, of at least one pupil member. The governing body of a charter school may order the inclusion of more than one pupil member. The governing body of a charter school may appoint a pupil to serve as an alternate pupil member who would fulfill all duties and have the same rights as a pupil member if the governing body of a charter school determines the pupil member is not fulfilling their duties. If the governing body of a charter school appoints an alternate pupil member, the governing body of a charter school shall suspend the prior pupil member’s rights and privileges related to service on the governing body of the charter school.
(4) (A) A pupil member of the governing body of a charter school shall have preferential voting rights.
(B) Preferential voting, as used in this section, means a formal expression of opinion that is recorded in the minutes and cast before the official vote of the governing body of the charter school. A preferential vote shall not serve in determining the final numerical outcome of a vote. No preferential vote shall be solicited on matters subject to closed session discussion.
(5) The governing body of a charter school may adopt a resolution authorizing the pupil member or members to make motions that may be acted upon by the governing body, except on matters dealing with employer-employee relations pursuant to Chapter 10.7 (commencing with Section 3540) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code.
(6) (A) Each pupil member shall have the right to attend each and all meetings of the governing body of a charter school, except executive sessions.
(B) (i) Each pupil member shall be appointed to subcommittees of the governing body in the same manner as other governing body members.
(ii) Each pupil member shall be made aware of the time commitment required to participate in subcommittee meetings and work, and may decline an appointment to a subcommittee.
(iii) Subcommittee meetings may be scheduled in accordance with the availably of all members of the governing body, including each pupil member.
(7) Any pupil selected to serve as a member of the governing body of a charter school shall be enrolled in high school within the charter school, may be less than 18 years of age, and shall be chosen by the pupils enrolled in high school within the charter school in accordance with procedures prescribed by the governing body of the charter school. The term of a pupil member shall be one year, commencing on July 1 of each year.
(8) A pupil member shall be entitled to the mileage allowance to the same extent as regular governing body members but is not entitled to the compensation prescribed in Section 35120, except as specified in subdivision (f) of Section 35120.
(9) (A) A pupil member shall be seated with the members of the governing body of a charter school and shall be recognized as a full member of the governing body of a charter school at the meetings, including receiving all open meeting materials presented to the governing body members at the same time the materials are presented to the other governing body members, being invited to staff briefings of governing body members, or being provided a separate staff briefing within the same timeframe as the staff briefing of other governing body members, being invited to attend other functions of the governing body of a charter school, such as forums, meetings with pupils and parents, and other general assemblies, and participating in the questioning of witnesses and the discussion of issues.
(B) A pupil member shall also receive all materials received by other governing body members between open meetings, except for materials that pertain to closed session items.
(10) A pupil member shall not be included in determining the vote required to carry any measure before the governing body of a charter school.
(11) The pupil member shall not be liable for any acts of the governing body of a charter school.
(12) A majority vote of all voting governing body members shall be required to approve a motion to eliminate the pupil member position from the governing body of a charter school. The motion shall be listed as a public agenda item for a meeting of the governing body before the motion being voted upon.
(c) A pupil member of the governing body of a charter school shall not be considered a member of a legislative body or a local agency for purposes of the Ralph M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code) or the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act.
(d) The governing body of a charter school that orders the inclusion of a pupil member within its governing body membership pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) shall do both of the following:
(1) (A) Notify the chartering authority of the charter school within 30 days of either of the following:
(i) The inclusion of the pupil member.
(ii) Any subsequent change in the pupil membership.
(B) The notification shall be in writing, include the name of the pupil member, the duration of the term of the pupil, and a copy of the approved pupil petition described in subdivision (b).
(2) Include at the next charter renewal with the chartering authority, the inclusion of the pupil member as a change to the governing body of the charter school.
(e) This section shall prevail over any contrary provision in the Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law (Part 2 (commencing with Section 5110) of Division 2 of Title 1 of the Corporations Code), or between this section and a nonprofit mutual benefit corporation’s articles of incorporation or bylaws, relating to pupil members on the governing body of the charter school. Nothing in this section otherwise alters, amends, or impairs the rights, duties, and obligations of a nonprofit mutual benefit corporation relating to the operation of a charter school.
(f) The requirements of this section shall not be waived by the state board pursuant to Section 33050 or any other law.

SEC. 3.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.