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Tuolumne COE |  BB  9012  Board Bylaws

Board Member Electronic Communications   

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The County Board of Education recognizes that electronic communication is an efficient and convenient way for County Board members to communicate and expedite the exchange of information within the county office of education (COE) and with members of the public. County Board members shall exercise caution so as to ensure that electronic communications are not used as a means for the County Board to deliberate outside of an agendized meeting nor to circumvent the public's right to access records regarding COE business.

A majority of County Board members shall not, outside of a noticed meeting, use a series of electronic communications of any kind, directly or through intermediaries, to discuss, deliberate, or take action on any item that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the County Board. (Government Code 54952.2)

(cf. 9320 - Meetings and Notices)

To avoid inadvertently violating the prohibition of law against a serial meeting, a County Board member shall not forward his/her comments on an electronic communication he/she receives from another member regarding an issue within the subject matter jurisdiction of the County Board to any other member.

When communicating electronically, County Board members shall make every effort to adhere to the same standards and protocols established for other forms of communication. A County Board member may respond to an electronic communication received from a member of the community and should make clear that his/her response does not necessarily reflect the views of the County Board as a whole. As appropriate, complaints or requests for information may be forwarded to the County Superintendent so that the issue may receive proper consideration and be handled through the appropriate COE process. Communication received from the media shall be forwarded to the County Board president and the County Superintendent.

A County Board member's electronic communications, including, but not limited to, emails and text messages, which are related to the conduct of COE business may be subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act, regardless of whether they are sent or received on the County Board member's personal or COE-provided account or device. To the extent possible, electronic communications regarding any County Board business shall be transmitted through a COE-provided device or account. When any such communication is transmitted through a County Board member's personal device or account, he/she shall copy the communications to a COE electronic storage device for easy retrieval.

County Board members may use electronic communications to discuss matters that are outside the jurisdiction of the County Board, regardless of the number of members participating in the discussion, and such personal communications are generally not subject to public disclosure.

(cf. 9010 - Public Statements)

Legal Reference:


1011 Time and place of meetings

35145 Public meetings

35145.5 Agenda; public participation; regulations

35147 Open meeting law exceptions and applications


6250-6270 California Public Records Act

11135 State programs and activities, discrimination

54950-54963 The Ralph M. Brown Act, especially:

54952.2 Meeting, defined

54953 Meetings to be open and public; attendance

54954.2 Agenda posting requirements, board actions


City of San Jose v. Superior Court, (2017) 2 Cal.5th 608

Management Resources:


Legal Alert: Tips for Governing Boards in Response to Public Records Act Ruling on Electronic Communications, March 2017

The Brown Act: School Boards and Open Meeting Laws, rev. 2014


The Brown Act: Open Meetings for Legislative Bodies, 2003



California Attorney General's Office:


adopted: March 9, 2009 Sonora, California

revised: September 9, 2019