Online Brown Act Training

Designed specifically with governing board members in mind, but useful for the entire leadership team, CSDC’s Online Brown Act Training is a series of focused instructional self-paced tutorials that discusses the Ralph M. Brown Act, which guarantees the public's right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies. The governing bodies of most chartered schools fall under the rules and regulations of this act.

Online Brown Act Training

An online, self-paced training on the Ralph M. Brown Act

Why Participate

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."

Structure & Format

CSDC’s Online Brown Act 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.

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. A Focus on Agendas covers topics related to regular, special, and emergency meetings, and reviews requirements related to posting agendas.
  2. A Focus on Closed Session Meetings of the Board 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. Board Location and Teleconference reviews where and how a governing board may meet in-person and via teleconference. Specific, nuanced requirements apply to charter schools.
  4. A Focus on the Rights of the Public 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 Must Comply and What Triggers It 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.


Program Cost

This program is free and available to CSDC School and Authorizer Members*

*Not available to CSDC Vendor Members

For more on CSDC Membership, please visit our website,


This training is free to CSDC School and Authorizer Members and is not for Vendor Members. CSDC verifies membership for these trainings. Please anticipate a delay in approving enrollments and receiving your log-in information once approved. Complete a brief registration form to gain access to the nearly 1.5-hour training:


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? Already registered but lost your confirmation email? Please contact CSDC.

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