Alternate CBOC Members?

FAQ 73

Alternate CBOC Members?

In order to assist in ensuring that there will be sufficient members for quorums at CBOC meetings, the governing boards of several districts with Prop. 39 outstanding bonds have made provisions for alternate members to stand in for the primary CBOC members when the primaries miss meetings.

The use or not of alternate members is a matter for each district to determine.  There is no mention of alternate CBOC members in the California Constitution or Education Code, which several districts have interpreted to mean that alternate members are not prohibited and, therefore, allowable, provided that all other statutory and other requirements are met.

CABOC recommends that alternate members not bebe appointed by the governing board.

If a district does utilize alternates, the procedural structure must be carefully and correctly defined, which means:

  1. Only the district board can decide if there will be CBOC alternates – preferably with the concurrence of the CBOC
  2. Some districts that have established alternates have done so on a one-for-one basis; e.g., there is a senior citizen alternate for the senior citizen primary.  While we believe that this is allowable, a different option, one that we suggest deserves consideration, is appointing an alternate who could potentially substitute for more than one primary, e.g., if a student parent is a member of PTA, AARP, and a business organization, and then joins the local taxpayer association, that alternate could substitute for all seven statutory positions if so designated in the board appointment action. 

After the alternates are appointed, the action decisions shift to the CBOC – and need to be memorialized in the CBOC bylaws:

    1. The CBOC Chair (or acting Chair) determines when an alternate member stands in for a primary member and reads the replacement into the meeting minutes.
    2. Some districts and CBOCs are using the alternates as the “junior varsity” for the CBOC, requiring or encouraging the alternates to attend all CBOC meetings, even if they are not required to stand in for a primary.  Then, when there is an opening for a CBOC position, the alternatives are given high priority to be named as primary members – and, in the meantime, until the board acts, the alternates serve as voting members of the CBOC.
    3. Where alternates are standing in for missing primary members, they are counted as members to determine if the quorum requirement is satisfied and vote in the same manner as the primary member if the primary member was present at the meeting.
    4. In other districts, the alternates are purely on standby; they are not required to attend meetings, but are sent the CBOC meeting agendas and asked to familiarize themselves with the CBOC activities.  Primary members are asked to inform a central attendance person if they will or will not be attending specific meetings, and, if there will be an unfilled position at a meeting, an alternate will be asked to attend and function as the voting member.  Which option, or other variation, is the decision of the individual district.
    5. Alternates only vote if the primary member is not in attendance.
    6. Some CBOCs allow alternate members to participate in discussions of CBOC agenda matters even if they are not voting; others do not.
    7. Generally, where alternates are utilized, they do not serve as officers.  For example, if the student parent/PTA member is the CBOC Chair, is not in attendance at a meeting, and an alternate serves as the student parent/PTA member for that meeting, the alternate does not serve as Chair for that meeting – the Vice Chair does as per the CBOC bylaws (presumably).

The proper use of alternate CBOC members can assist in ensuring sufficient members are in attendance to form a quorum and conduct CBOC business – but the procedures and practices must be worked out and properly memorialized in advance.