Throughout California’s history, local legislative bodies have played a vital role in bringing participatory democracy to the citizens of the state. Local legislative bodies – such as boards, councils, commissions and boards of public charter schools – are created in recognition of the fact that several minds are better than one, and that through debate and discussion, the best ideas will emerge. The law which guarantees the public’s right
to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies is the Ralph M. Brown Act. While local legislative bodies generally are required to hold meetings in open forum, the Brown Act recognizes the need, under limited circumstances, for these bodies to meet in private in order to carry out their responsibilities in the best interests of the public. This course explains the requirements of the Brown Act specifically for charter school governing boards to ensure that the goals of the Act, as well as the requirements of law, are met.