Public schools

Wisconsin can consider requesters' intent, court says

Emily Grannis | Freedom of Information | News | May 12, 2014
May 12, 2014

A Wisconsin appeals court has ruled that state agencies may consider a requester's intent before releasing public records under the state's freedom of information law.

Previously, Wisconsin, like most states, did not require a public record requester to provide their name or the reason for seeking information.

The court last week was considering a case in which a man requested the employment records of a public school employee he was suspected of abusing. The Milwaukee School Board refused to release the information to that requester, citing a previous restraining order against the man and concerns for the employee's safety.

Va. high court clarifies FOIA exemption, redaction fee issues in case over climate change controversy

Emily Grannis | Freedom of Information | News | April 17, 2014
April 17, 2014

The Virginia Supreme Court ruled this morning that the University of Virginia does not have to release certain emails sent to and from a former professor.

The American Tradition Institute (now the Energry and Environmental Legal Institute) requested emails under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act from Michael Mann, a climate scientist and then-professor at UVA, in 2011. He intervened in the case at the trial level, alleging that the university was not sufficiently representing his privacy and academic freedom rights in a controversy surrounding climate change research.

N.J. high court denies access to public law school clinic's legal records

Emily Miller | Freedom of Information | News | July 6, 2012
July 6, 2012

The New Jersey high court ruled Thursday that case records handled at public law school clinics are not considered public records because in dealing with private clients, the clinics do not conduct "official government business" and releasing the records may discourage people from seeking the clinics’ services.

New rule would expand confidentiality in school records

Kathleen Cullinan | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | December 15, 2008
December 15, 2008

The Student Press Law Center is calling attention to a rule the Department of Education published last week, under which a school would have to deny a records request even for redacted documents if it expects the requester "knows, or can figure out, the students to whom the document pertains."

Education board slips tuition hike past public

Jason Wiederin | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | December 4, 2008
December 4, 2008

The City Colleges of Chicago board is facing criticism for neglecting to disclose in a meeting agenda a tuition hike it approved on Wednesday, according to the Chi-Town Daily News.

The Daily News cited open-government experts saying the board could have violated the state’s Open Meetings Act; the board said not putting the tuition item on the agenda was an accident.

California school district scolded for open meeting law violation

Cristina Abello | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | September 11, 2008
September 11, 2008

 A California school district violated the state’s open meeting law by raising its superintendent’s salary during a closed-door meeting, but it will not face sanctions, the Orange County district attorney’s office said in a Sept. 2 report.  

Reporter removed from school meeting

Hannah Bergman | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | September 3, 2008
September 3, 2008

A sheriff's deputy on Friday asked a local reporter to leave a meeting with school board members, schools officials and teachers at a North Carolina junior high while they discussed student-teacher relations.

Education department seeks to make FERPA more restrictive

Freedom of Information | Quicklink | May 12, 2008
May 12, 2008

FERPA -- the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act -- has long made things difficult for student journalists, and any journalists covering educational issues. Too often schools use the pretext of protecting students' privacy to cover up an embarassing story.

D.C. parents denied access to school spending plans

Alison Schmidt | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | February 29, 2008
February 29, 2008

A judge in Washington, D.C., ruled Thursday that the public is not entitled to see the district’s education spending plan for the next fiscal year until the mayor has submitted it to the city council as part of the city budget.

Before Fenty took control of the school system last spring, parents and local citizens had access to school spending proposals and could suggest potential changes before the entire city budget was submitted for consideration.

Records reveal teacher's history of sexual misconduct

Amy Harder | Freedom of Information | Feature | February 6, 2008
February 6, 2008

Numerous FOIA requests submitted to a local school district and one to the county prosecuting attorney’s office by the Times Record in Fort Smith, Ark., resulted in the revelation of a junior high teacher’s record of sexual misconduct.