FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
|In the Matter of a Complaint by||FINAL DECISION|
|against||Docket #FIC 1998-173|
North Stonington Public Schools;
and Board of Education, North
Stonington Public Schools,
|Respondents||December 9, 1998|
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 25, 1998, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached: 1. The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of §1-18a(1), G.S.
2. By letter dated May 15, 1998, the complainant made a freedom of information request to the respondent superintendent for copies of:
a. any and all correspondence and information concerning the North Stonington Board of Education Pension Plan including all existing documents such as the summary plan description, checks sent to F&G Life Insurance Company with a breakdown of benefits paid for each eligible employee for the 1993 through the 1997 fiscal years;b. documents sent to the statewide prosecution bureau by the Board of Education or its attorney;c. Mr. Blakes teaching schedule for the school years between 1993 and 1997 which was posted in the central office; and d. student records or report cards showing all course titles or subjects taught and grades received for each of Mr. Blakes students for the school years between 1993 and 1997.
3. By letter dated May 21, 1998, the respondent superintendent responded by denying the complainants request because:
a. her request described in paragraphs 2a and 2b, above, was too broad and unless she could be more specific, additional information would not be provided;b. the superintendents office was not in possession of the requested schedule described in paragraph 2c, above;c. and her request described in 2d, above, would require research that he was not required to do and because the information revealed information that was exempt pursuant to §1-19(b)(11), G.S., and was also protected from disclosure under the federal privacy laws.
4. By letter dated June 15, 1998, and filed with this Commission on June 19, 1998, the complainant appealed the respondents denial of her request.
5. Section 1-19(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that:
Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency, whether or not such records are required by any law or by any rule or regulation, shall be public records and every person shall have a right to inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours or to receive a copy of such records promptly upon request in accordance with the provisions of section 1-15.
6. Section 1-15(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that:
Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.
7. It is found that the records more fully described in paragraph 2, above, are public records within the meaning of §1-18a(5), G.S.
8. With respect to the complainants request described in paragraphs 2a and 2b, above, it is found that the complainant specifically identified the records she seeks and that while the request may be voluminous, it is not too broad.
9. It is therefore concluded that the respondents violated §§1-19a and 1-15, G.S., by failing to provided the complainant with the records described in paragraphs 2a and 2b, above.
10. At the hearing on this matter, the respondent superintendent testified that he did not maintain the teaching schedule described in paragraph 2c, above and that he is not aware of any record that would be responsive to the complainants request.
11. It is therefore concluded that the respondents did not violate §§1-19(a) or 1- 15(a), G.S., by failing to provide the complainant with a copy of the schedule more fully described in paragraph 2c, above.
12. With respect to the complainants request in paragraph 2d, above, §1- 19(b)(11), G.S., provides in relevant part the [n]othing in the Freedom of Information Act shall be construed to require disclosure of . . . names or addresses of students enrolled in any public school or college without the consent of each student . . . .
13. Section 1-19(b)(17), G.S., also provides that an agency need not disclose educational records which are not subject to disclosure under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 USC 1232g.
14. It is therefore concluded that the complainants request in paragraph 2d, above, is exempt from disclosure under §1-19(b)(17), G.S.
15. It is further found that the respondents failed to prove that the complainants request requires research.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.
1. The respondents shall forthwith provide the complainant with copies of the records described in paragraphs 2a and 2b, in the findings, above, free of charge.
2. Henceforth the respondents shall strictly comply with the promptness and disclosure requirements of §§1-19(a) and 1-15(a), G.S.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of December 9, 1998.
_________________________ Melanie R. Balfour Acting Clerk of the Commission
PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S., THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.
THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:
Karen Howard 17 Puttker Road North Stonington, CT 06359
Superintendent of Schools, North Stonington Public Schools; and Board of Education, North Stonington Public Schools c/o Atty. Robert J. Murphy Sullivan, Schoen, Campane & Connon LLC 646 Prospect Avenue Hartford, CT 06105-4286
__________________________ Melanie R. Balfour Acting Clerk of the Commission