ACSA-sponsored legislation passes Senate, moves to Assembly
May 22, 2023
ACSA’s sponsored legislation was approved by the California State Senate with bipartisan support on May 15. The measure, Senate Bill 494 by Sen. Josh Newman, would require school boards to provide at least 72 hours of notice if they take action to dismiss a superintendent or assistant superintendent without cause. The bill now moves to the Assembly.
SB 494 would modify California Education Code related to school board actions when they dismiss a superintendent or assistant superintendent without cause. The bill requires:
  • 72-hour notice before the public meeting (also known as a regular meeting under the Brown Act) to terminate a district superintendent and/or assistant superintendent without cause.
  • School boards may not take action to terminate a superintendent or assistant superintendent without cause within 30 days following the first convening of a school board.
The proposal is also supported by the California Teachers Association and school community members who are impacted by the abrupt dismissal of their local superintendents.
ACSA sponsored SB 494 as part of its mission to advocate for what is best for students inside and outside of the classroom. School leadership plays a key role in strengthening communities and attracting and retaining high-quality educators and staff, as well as providing the tools students need to become college- and career-ready.
The implications of the current regulation’s lack of required advance notice came into focus recently when the newly installed governing board of the Orange Unified School District called a special meeting over the winter holiday break with 24-hour notice. The special board meeting was called while the superintendent was out of the country.
Similar scenarios have been reported throughout the state, with special meetings being called on weekends or on days when the district offices are closed, creating an increase in the level of distrust and disruption for local school communities.
“Meetings of a school board where the termination of school district leadership may be considered should occur only with sufficient public notice, thereby providing an appropriate opportunity for public engagement, which is so critical as it relates to major decisions which may have far-reaching effects,” Newman said.
The measure does not limit board action for superintendent or assistant superintendent dismissals for cause, or any other administrative actions the board is currently authorized to take.
Learn More
Read the floor alert for SB 484 on ACSA's Resource Hub.
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