SUNSHINE WEEK – SCHOOL SYSTEMS
Parish School Boards are created pursuant to the power granted the Legislature by the Louisiana Constitution Article 8, Section 9, those in existence at the time the Louisiana Constitution went into effect remain in operation and are subject to consolidation. The Constitution vest the duty of educating the people of the State with the Legislature.
Public education has again become a topic of interest for many parents in the state. The indoctrination of children with revisionist history and Marxist ideations, such as Critical Race Theory is alarming to parents. Despite the Legislature, State Superintendent of Education and State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education being ultimately responsible for the operation of the public education system it is most likely that your greatest influence will occur at the local level.
The people we encountered through our series of request to the various School Boards were receptive and helpful. Even in situations where a disagreement arose over an item it was easily sorted out and dealt with. The School Boards were by far the more technological advanced of all the public bodies in terms of being able to provide records electronically.
Did you know?
There is no cost to see (examine) a public record if you do not need copies, unless the public body has to provide you with extra assistance. For example, if you want to examine records outside of regular working hours, the body might charge a fee to cover the cost of keeping the office open.
SCHOOL SYSTEMS: (LARS 17:51)
The following five requests were sent to each School System in the state:
- Individual appointment calendar of Superintendent for the period of time of January 1, 2022 through January 31, 2022, including but not limited to: traditional hard copy calendars and electronically stored information on cell phone(s), computer(s) and/or other electronic devices.
- Expenses reports or listing of expense reimbursements for Superintendent for the period of time of January 1, 2022 through January 31, 2022 OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE; any and all documents of expense reimbursements for Superintendent for the period of time of January 1, 2022 through January 31, 2022.
- Compensation received by Superintendent for the calendar year of January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021, including but not limited to salary, salary augmentation, stipends, vehicle subsidies, cell phone subsidies, insurance benefits, etc.
- Journal listing of vendor payments made to Hammond, Sills, Adkins, Guice, Noah & Perkins, LLP for the calendar year of January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021 OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, if a listing doesn’t exist, any and all documents, included but not limited to invoices related to fees paid to Hammond, Sills, Adkins, Guice, Noah & Perkins, LLP for the calendar year of January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021.
- Current or most recent inventory listing of all text books owned, including but not limited to: the title of the book, copyright or revision date and quantity owned.
The School Systems were then graded based on ten objective factors with each being worth one point, for a maximum score of ten points. Below is how the governing bodies ranked after the passage of at least thirty days from the date of the request.
Have the public bodies made information regarding how to request public records readily available and easy to find (i.e. website, etc.)?
- 36% 36%
Did the public bodies acknowledge the receipt of the public records request or provide any exemptions within three days?
- 45% 45%
Did the public bodies produce the records for inspection or provide an estimate of time reasonably necessary for production within five days of the request?
- 14% 14%
Did the public bodies accept the e-mailed requests without a demand that it be presented on a particular form, in a particular format or submitted in an alternative fashion?
- 88% 88%
Did the public bodies accept the request without demanding that a state issued identification card be provided?
- 97% 97%
Did the public bodies refrain from inquiring about the purpose of the requests?
- 100% 100%
Did the public bodies respond without employing an attorney to respond?
- 94% 94%
Were the records or information made available free of charge and/or without a request for a deposit?
- 97% 97%
Were the records or information made available by electronic means or did the custodian indicate the records could be copied using a portable scanning device?
- 94% 94%
Were the records provided by the public bodies responsive to the requests and of good quality?
- 97% 97%