Designed specifically with governing board members in mind, but useful for the entire leadership team, CSDC’s Brown Act online training is a series of short instructional videos that discuss in-depth the Ralph M. Brown Act. This online training opportunity is a self-paced instructional tutorial that can be done individually at home or viewed as part of a collective board training.
The Brown Act Online Training is a new feature accessible only to active school members. Vendor members do not qualify for access to this training at this time.
Governor Newsom recently signed legislation that will make it mandatory for every charter school in California to follow one of the open meeting acts outlined in law. Most schools will choose the Ralph M. Brown Act.
The Brown Act (California Government Code 54950), is an act of the California State Legislature, authored by Assemblymember Ralph M. Brown and passed in 1953, that guarantees the public's right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies.
Originally a 686-word statute, the Brown Act has grown substantially over the years through amendments by the Legislature. It was enacted in response to mounting public concerns over informal, undisclosed meetings held by local elected officials. Prior to its passage, city councils, county boards, and other local government bodies were avoiding public scrutiny by holding secret "workshops" and "study sessions."
CSDC’s Brown Act Online Training is delivered through 5 online, self-paced modules consisting of videos and quizzes that allow charter school board members to learn at their own pace.
These modules can be augmented with the Governance Academy or our Board Member Training, a 1-day in-person workshop that takes place once in the fall and once in the spring and allows board members, new and experienced, to work together, be briefed on governance-related concerns, and to have the opportunity to do more hands-on learning with CSDC’s staff around topics such as the Brown Act.
CSDC’s online courses are facilitated by a learning system that provides modules, quizzes, and important resources. Members who participate also receive access to CSDC’s unique charter schools resource directory, which includes invaluable sample policies and materials for schools to consider amending and adopting to ensure that they are compliant with the Brown Act.
1. Agendas Module covers topics related to regular, special, and emergency meetings, and reviews requirements related to posting agendas.
2. Closed Session Module covers topics including the very narrow list of items that may be discussed in closed session, who may attend closed session, and which discussion items may not be discussed in closed session. This module is essential for all administrators and board members.
3. Location and Teleconferencing Module reviews where and how a governing board may meet in-person and via teleconference. Specific, nuanced requirements apply to charter schools.
4. Rights of the Public Module reviews the rights of the public as it pertains to governing board and other meetings that fall under the Brown Act and covers the requirements regarding meeting notices, public participation, and the availability of meeting documents during and after the meeting.
5. Who and What Module covers who must comply with the Brown Act and outlines the definition of a meeting, including serial meetings and gatherings that California consider to be meetings.
This program is free and available only to CSDC members.
For more on CSDC Membership, please visit our website, chartercenter.org/membership.
The online version of Brown Act Online Training is available on-demand, and is free of charge to CSDC members. Complete a brief registration form to gain access to the nearly 1.5-hour online version:
Please note that once registered and membership is confirmed, you will receive log-in information in 1-2 business days. You will then have access for 30 days to view and complete the Brown Act training modules.
Having difficulty viewing Brown Act Online Training? Please contact CSDC.
Already registered but lost your confirmation email? Please contact CSDC and we will resend your link.
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