Citing an “astronomical” enhance in public data requests, the Boulder Valley Faculty District plans so as to add a paralegal subsequent college 12 months to handle its requests.
“You’ve a small variety of people continually submitting (Colorado Open Information Act) requests,” Superintendent Rob Anderson mentioned at a latest college board assembly. “We simply don’t have the bandwidth.”
The district obtained 117 public data requests from June 2021 to April 21, together with requests that have been modified after the unique request was made. The neighboring St. Vrain Valley Faculty District, which is barely bigger than Boulder Valley, obtained about 50 requests over the identical time interval.
In Boulder Valley, 11 individuals have made three or extra requests (together with 4 requests from the Every day Digital camera) since June. Most individuals made a single request.
Ten requests have been made by two individuals concerned within the unsuccessful try to recall three Boulder Valley Faculty Board members.
A number of dad and mom made requests for open enrollment statistics, asking what number of college students obtained spots at sure colleges. A bunch of Erie dad and mom requested for information on new district stage Schooling Heart positions versus new elementary college positions. A neighborhood schooling advocate made 4 requests, looking for data on particular schooling and literacy information.
Different dad and mom requested for details about particular workers or coaches. A Broomfield guardian made 4 requests across the district’s resolution to finish the hockey program at Centaurus Excessive, in addition to a request associated to federal coronavirus reduction cash.
An Erie resident requested for all communication between Rob Anderson and faculty members that included the phrases “CRT, crucial race concept, Redi Fee, racism, systemic racism, narrative, oppress, variety, anti-racism, social justice, marginalized, white supremacy, Donald Trump, DIRE Initiative, 1619 Challenge, BLM, Black Lives Matter, Ibram Kendi, Zinn Schooling Challenge, restorative justice, and instructing tolerance.”
A number of individuals made requests that centered on masking, together with a Broomfield resident who requested “all Superintendent Rob Anderson’s emails from March 2020 by way of Jan. 23, 2022, regarding Covid-19 coverage and faculty masks mandates.”
A number of requests have been made by totally different corporations round bids and the bidding course of. Different standard requests have been for worker and monetary information.
The Freedom Basis, with an Oregon handle, requested for details about workers who’re union members, together with names, job titles, rent dates and work e mail addresses. The Mackinac Heart for Public Coverage, based mostly in Michigan, requested for the variety of district workers who had union dues withheld from their paychecks. American Transparency, based mostly in Florida, requested for wage information for all workers.
Full Colorado, a information website that operates beneath the Independence Institute, requested for 3 months of faculty board member and superintendent expense stories and bills paid by the varsity district for the Colorado Affiliation of Faculty Boards conference.
Boulder Valley lawyer Kathleen Sullivan mentioned it takes plenty of work to determine data which can be conscious of a request, for which the district typically doesn’t cost a payment.
As soon as the data are recognized, the district then offers the particular person requesting data with a value estimate, if relevant, for workers members to evaluation these data to take away non releasable data, corresponding to well being data. Sullivan mentioned workers common about 125 e mail messages an hour.
State regulation units the charges the district can cost to satisfy data requests — analysis and retrieval charges could not exceed $33.58 per hour, and the primary hour is free.
Together with extra public data requests, Sullivan mentioned, the district is receiving extra requests from attorneys for e mail messages. One request for a 12 months’s value of emails between dad and mom and the district equaled about 8,000 messages, she mentioned.
“With a digital world, we now have much more paperwork and, with a litigious world, we now have much more attorneys coming round,” she mentioned.