AB 772 by Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia (R-El Centro) would, among other things, provide that among the criteria that are required to be included in the petition for the establishment of a charter school, there be an assurance that the charter schools board will comply with either the Ralph M. Brown Act (the open meetings law for local agencies) unless the school is operated by an entity subject to the Bagley-Keene Act (the open meetings law for state agencies).
Currently whether the Brown Act applies to a charter school board depends on whether the school is operated by a nonprofit corporation that meets the following test of Brown Act coverage, found in Government Code Section 54952 (c) (1) (A):
A board, commission, committee, or other multimember body that governs a private corporation, limited liability company, or other entity that . . . (i)s created by the elected legislative body in order to exercise authority that may lawfully be delegated by the elected governing body to a private corporation, limited liability company, or other entity.
In a lawsuit that was not appealed, a Marin County Superior Court judge in 2001 concluded that a local charter school board had violated the Brown Act, but that has been the only known judicial ruling on the question. The California Charter Schools Association, which sponsors AB 772, has for some time encouraged its members to assume that the Brown Act applies to their meetings.
The bill has been approved by the Assembly Education Committee and will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 7.