Expansion of Opportunities and Incentives to Students Serving as Pupil Members of Governing Boards

Lozano Smith Client News Brief
November 2023
Number 42

Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed two bills into law that expand the opportunities and incentives for students to serve as pupil members of governing boards.

First, Assembly Bill (AB) 417 expands who can be selected to serve as a pupil member of the county board of education (County BOE) in cases where a petition has not been submitted for the selection of a student. For context, there are two ways for a pupil member to be appointed to the position of a County BOE: (1) In response to a petition signed by either 500 high school students or ten percent of all high school students in the county requesting the appointment of one or more pupil members to the County BOE; or (2) by direct appointment of the County BOE, if no student petition was submitted. Under the prior law, only those students enrolled in school district-run high schools within the county were eligible for the direct appointment in the absence of a petition. Now, the County BOE may appoint any high school student under the County BOE’s jurisdiction. The effect of this change is to include high school students enrolled in alternative education programs not run by school districts, such as special education programs, community schools, and juvenile court schools. These high school students are now eligible for direct appointment as student members of a County BOE when no student petition has been submitted.

Second, AB 275 eliminates the prior restriction on providing compensation to pupil board members. Students can now be offered a monetary incentive, in addition to course credit, to participate as pupil members of a school board (including a County BOE, a school district governing board, or the governing body of a charter school). Specifically, effective January 1, 2024, students serving as pupil members of a governing board may be compensated for their service by receiving elective course credit based on the number of equivalent daily instructional minutes for services provided to the board; and/or monthly compensation as determined by the governing board. Pupil members remain eligible to receive mileage reimbursement, under the same terms and conditions as regular board members.

If you have any questions regarding these recent changes to the laws governing student board members,, please contact the authors of this News Brief or an attorney at one of our eight offices located statewide. You can also subscribe to our podcast, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or download our mobile app.
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As the information contained herein is necessarily general, its application to a particular set of facts and circumstances may vary. For this reason, this News Brief does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you consult with your counsel prior to acting on the information contained herein.