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Open Government

Freedom of Information Statutes
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Open government is crucial to maintaining effective and accountable government.  The cornerstone of open government is public access to records via freedom of information statutes.

Most parents, and for that matter the public, are not aware that they are entitled to most information about how schools (and other branches of government) conduct business.  For examples of the type of information you have a right to I suggest you review the requests which I have made which are posted on this web site.

Please be aware that while most state FOIA laws are patterned after the Federal statues, there still are fairly significant differences.

The first FOIA requests I made were patterned after Federal FOIA statues.  This was because of my past experience with Federal FOIA.   Unfortunately, state statutes do not allow the same benefits as Federal.  One example being that Michigan FOIA statues do not allow journalists an exemption to being charged for the first 100 pages of documents.

State Open Records Letter Generator (FOI)

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FOIA Resource List

Reporter's Committee for Freedom of the Press
http://www.rcfp.org/

Society for Professional Journalists FOI Resources
http://www.spj.org/foia/index.htm

National Freedom of Information Coalition
http://www.nfoic.org/ - Michigan Link

The Freedom Forum Online
http://www.freedomforum.org/

Student Press Law Center
http://www.splc.org
State Open Records Letter Generator (FOI)

 

Public School Abuse Example Sidebar

I received an anonymous tip that Genesee area school districts are collaborating to subvert public access to their records.  And also that they are being encouraged by someone in our local prosecutor's office to use civil (SLAPP) lawsuits to chill the public from exercising their rights to access information under FOIA statues.  

Freedom of information is the law of the land.  The prosecutor has a duty to uphold all laws, and to encourage others to do the same regardless of rather or not they approve of such laws.  Encouraging anyone to subvert such laws is a serious infraction which may well merit termination of those who are doing this.  I most certainly hope this is not the case, but if it is true, then the prosecutor had better address this misuse of the office severely. 

 

PLEASE: Notify Us Of Any Errors Of FACT: ErrorOfFact

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