How to Run a Virtual Charter School Board Meeting During the Time of “Shelter in Place” Rules
· How to use virtual platforms like Zoom or GoToMeeting to conduct legally compliant board meetings;
· How to allow for public access and comment in a virtual setting;
· What information must be on the agenda;
· What notice must be given for meetings;
· What circumstances qualify for an “emergency” meeting;
· What to do if your meeting gets “zoom bombed;” and
· How to conduct closed sessions with confidentiality.
DATE AND TIME:
April 17, 2020
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Wayne Strumpfer, ESQ.
Does SB 126 require all charter schools to video or audio tape the Board meetings and post them on the school website?
No, only Boards that operate multiple charter schools in more than one county are required to video or audio tape meetings and post the recording on each school’s website. This requirement is not waived by an Executive Order. Please note, however, that if you do video or audio tape your board meeting (or live stream where copy is maintained on a website) the Brown Act requires you to maintain this copy for at least 30 days before it can be destroyed. Such a recording is a public record pursuant to the California Public Records Act.
Do we have to post all telecommuting sites on the agenda?
No. Executive Order N-29-20 waives this specific Brown Act requirement as long as you provide public access via internet or phone and public comment by electronic means. However, this waiver of the law will only be effective until the Governor rescinds this Executive Order.
Can we require members of the public to provide comment only via email?
Executive Order N-29-20 requires the Board to provide public comment in electronic form. This can be via internet, telephone, or email. If you require public comment to be in form of an email, make sure to have someone monitoring the email account during the meeting so that if a comment is timely submitted (i.e., up to the time of the agenda item in question), it can be read into the record. A Board cannot require email comment only up until the time of the meeting, it must allow for public comment via email during the meeting and up and until the item is considered by the Board. Also, remember if you limit speakers to three (3) minutes, you must provide anyone needing translation services twice that time.
Does it matter if Board members are teleconferencing from outside the area?
No, Executive Order N-29-20 waives the Brown Act requirement that a quorum of the Board must be physically located in the school’s jurisdiction.
Can Board members and school staff attend a meeting in person right now?
Watch for Executive Orders from the Governor’s Office and announcements from your local officials regarding re-openings. Current state-wide guidance is to limit gatherings to no more than ten (10) people and maintain a social distance of at least six (6) feet. Many county health department orders are more restrictive and must be followed. A meeting in person may cause several Brown Act issues including the exclusion of the public from attending. We recommend not conducting Board meetings in person until the state guidance and county health department orders change.