The Brown Act
The Brown Act (Gov. Code 54950 et seq.) governs meetings conducted by local legislative bodies. The objective of the law is to facilitate public participation by requiring that open meetings be held by local legislative bodies. The following information defines how the Brown Act applies to the Tulare County District SELPA Superintendents Governance Committee, Directors of Special Education Committee and Community Advisory Committee.
Definition: The Brown Act states: 54952. As used in this chapter, "legislative body" means: (a) The governing body of a local agency or any other local body created by state or federal statute.
(b) A commission, committee, board, or other body of a local agency, whether permanent or temporary, decision making or advisory, created by charter, ordinance, resolution, or formal action of a legislative body. However, advisory committees, composed solely of the members of the legislative body that are less than a quorum of the legislative body are not legislative bodies, except that standing committees of a legislative body, irrespective of their composition, which have a continuing subject matter jurisdiction, or a meeting schedule fixed by charter, ordinance, resolution, or formal action of a legislative body are legislative bodies for purposes of this chapter.
Application: The application to our SELPA is as follows:
- Superintendents Governance Committee (SGC). Education Code created the SELPA; the Superintendents Governance Committee of the SELPA is the decision making (i.e. legislative) group for the SELPA. Therefore, the Superintendents Governance Committee must conduct meetings in accordance with the provisions of the Brown Act.
- Directors of Special Education Committee (DOSE). DOSE was not created by Education Code and performs an advisory function only. Therefore, DOSE is not required to conduct meetings in accordance with the provisions of the Brown Act.
- Community Advisory Committee (CAC). The requirement for the CAC is found in Education Code. The functions of the CAC are primarily advisory, however, since the Committee was established by Education Code mandate, it is required to conduct meetings in accordance with the provisions of the Brown Act.