What’s new for board governance in 2023?
New laws include a required ethics training and adjustments to the Brown Act

A new year brings new laws to consider and incorporate into board practices. Below is a summary of key legislation impacting board governance signed into law in 2022.

Senate Bill 1439: Pay-to-play restrictions now applicable to elected board members
SB 1439 amends Government Code section 84308 and subjects board members to the “pay-to-play” campaign contribution restrictions previously applicable only to appointees of state and local agency boards and commissions and agency heads. Beginning this year, a board member may not accept, solicit or direct a campaign contribution of more than $250, including to a ballot measure committee, from a party or participant involved with a non-exempt contract while the contract is pending and for 12 months after the final decision. Competitively bid, labor and personal employment contracts are exempt from these requirements. Additionally, any board member who received a campaign contribution of $250 or more from a party or participant within the previous 12 months must disclose the contribution, and if not properly returned, cannot participate in making the decision. At its November 2022 meeting, the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) voted 5-0 to issue an opinion stating that the new requirements will not apply retroactively. The FPPC’s December meeting was cancelled so no further action has been taken on the matter. Visit the CSBA blog for more information at
Assembly Bill 2158: Board members now required to complete ethics training

AB 2158 amends the Government Code and requires local agency officials to complete ethics trainings every two years during their term. Previously, members of school district governing boards, county boards of education and governing bodies for charter schools were exempt from the ethics trainings requirement. Importantly, unlike other local agency officials, board members are subject to the ethics training requirement whether or not the member receives any type of compensation, salary, stipend or reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of official duties. (Gov. Code § 5325.)

The new requirement takes effect Jan. 1, 2025, and must have been completed by board members holding office as of Jan. 1, 2026. Board members who were elected in November 2020 and conclude their term in December 2024 are not subject to this requirement but may complete the ethics training offered by CSBA in its Online Learning Center. Stay tuned for updates on when the updated CSBA training will be available.

CSBA’s What’s New for 2023 report provides a comprehensive list of new legislation signed into law in 2022 that impacts TK-12 education in California. View it at
AB 2449: Teleconferencing now permitted for “just cause” and “emergency circumstances”
Under AB 2449, boards now have an additional teleconference option under the Brown Act. From Jan. 1, 2023, to Jan. 1, 2026, board members may attend meetings remotely without following the traditional Brown Act rules for teleconferencing if the member demonstrates a “just cause” or an “emergency circumstance” as defined in the law. In addition to properly showing a just cause or emergency circumstance, AB 2449 requires boards to satisfy a slew of requirements related to meeting access, notice and agendas, and the remote participation option can only be used a certain number of times each year. The CSBA blog ( and the November newsletter provide additional information.
SB 1100: Disruptive individuals can now be removed from a meeting under the Brown Act
Until SB 1100 was signed in August 2022, the Brown Act only allowed for the removal of a “group or group of persons” from a board meeting if the group was causing a disruption. SB 1100 now provides, consistent with state and federal case law, that an individual may be removed for being “disruptive.” “Disruptive” is defined as engaging in behavior during the meeting that actually disrupts, impedes or renders the orderly conduct of the meeting infeasible. Before the disruptive individual can be removed, the presiding member of the legislative body (or designee) must provide a warning informing the individual that their behavior is disrupting the meeting and failure to stop the behavior may result in removal. For more information visit the CSBA blog (
AB 2584: Recall actions now require more signatures
AB 2584, a CSBA-sponsored bill, increases the number of proponents required to file a notice of intention to circulate a recall petition to either five times or three times the previous number of proponents based on the population specifications outlined in Election Code section 11020. Additionally, recall petitions for school board members must now include the estimate from the county election official of the cost for conducting the special election. Critically, AB 2584 provides that the authors of the petition’s statements and answers are not “free or exempt from any [action or penalty] because of any false, slanderous, or libelous material included in the statement or answer.”
SB 1061: Additional options and requirements now included in school board vacancy elections
CSBA-sponsored SB 1061 amends Education Code section 5091 and creates a new timeline for special elections to fill board vacancies. The election must take place within 88 and 125 days after the order for an election, however it can take place up to 180 days after to allow for consolidation with a regularly scheduled election. SB 1061 also provides voters with additional information by requiring the special election petition to contain the cost estimate for the election to be expressed on a per-pupil or per-student basis, rather than only including the total cost estimate. Both the extended timeline for consolidation and the disclosure of the per-pupil cost of the special election aim to preserve money for student services that would otherwise be diverted to pay for redundant and expensive special elections. More information related to filling vacancies is available in the “Filling a Board Vacancy” document on CSBA’s website.

To learn how the new laws apply specifically to your LEA, contact CSBA’s District and County Office Legal Services at