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Access to District's Public Records

The District’s “public records” are those records and documents, regardless of physical or electronic form, pertaining to the transaction of public business and as further defined by law, including the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), and the District’s FOIA Administrative Procedures. The District shall maintain and make available for inspection a reasonably current list of the types and categories of records under its control, as well as those documents that are immediately available upon request.

The District shall respond to all written requests for public records as set forth in this Policy and the District’s FOIA Administrative Procedures. The Superintendent shall designate one or more employees as the District’s Freedom of Information Officer (“FOIA Officer”) to receive FOIA requests, coordinate review of the relevant information, and respond on behalf of the District in a timely manner. Each FOIA Officer shall successfully complete the required training through the Public Access Counselor’s office of the Attorney General on a timely basis.

Requests to inspect and/or copy the District’s public records must be submitted in writing, and are expected to be directed to the District’s FOIA Officer. Requests are expected to specify with reasonable particularity which public records are sought to avoid inefficient use of staff time in retrieving and preparing records for inspection. Repeated requests from the same person for the same records that are unchanged or identical to records previously provided or properly denied under FOIA are deemed unduly burdensome and may be denied. If a request is for a commercial purpose, as defined in FOIA and the District’s FOIA Administrative Procedures, the requester is  expected to disclose that in his or her initial written request. It is a violation of FOIA for a person to knowingly obtain a public record for a commercial purpose without disclosing that it is for a commercial purpose, if requested to do so by the District.

The District shall approve the written FOIA request, unless (1) the requested document is not a “public record” as defined in FOIA and the District’s FOIA Administrative Procedures; (2) the public record is exempt by law from inspection and copying; or (3) complying with the request would be unduly burdensome. If an otherwise non-exempt responsive record contains information that is exempt from disclosure, the District will redact the information that is exempt and make the remaining information available for inspection and copying.

The Board periodically shall set fees for reproducing public records in accordance with FOIA. Such fees shall be set forth in the FOIA Administrative Procedures.

In the event that a written request for access to District public records is denied, in whole or in part, the FOIA Officer shall provide the individual making the request with a written statement of the reasons for the denial and notice of the right to appeal the decision to the Public Access Counselor’s office of the Attorney General and the right to judicial review.

 

The School Board President, FOIA Officer, Superintendent or designee shall report to the Board of Education at each regular meeting any FOIA requests as well as the status of the response(s).

The Superintendent is authorized to develop Administrative Procedures to implement this Policy. The Superintendent and FOIA Officers shall implement this Policy in accordance with the District’s FOIA Administrative Procedures and all applicable law.

 
 

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