The La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board very likely violated the state's open-meeting law on Jan. 11 by discussing the district's teacher-evaluation process behind closed doors rather than in public, according to two of the state's leading experts on the Ralph M. Brown Act.
The Brown act, passed by the state legislature in 1953, guarantees the public's right to attend and participate in meetings of all legislative bodies in the state. It was enacted in response to local-government bodies who were seen as avoiding public scrutiny and input by holding secret deliberative and decision-making sessions.
Supt. James Stratton maintained the board was within its rights to discuss in secret how the district audits teacher evaluation files under Brown Act exemptions that pertain to the presence of legal counsel and discussion of personnel issues.