Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Citizens have a right to access public records of their governmental bodies, including school districts. In compliance with Illinois State Law (5 ILCS 140/Freedom of Information Act), Moline-Coal Valley CUSD 40 is dedicated to providing transparency with the community and public body in regard to public records and this specific act. The following information is made available to anyone wanting more information about our compliance with state law, and procedures for submitting FOIA requests. Further questions regarding this law can be directed to Kristin Sanders, Assistant Supt for Pupil/Personnel Services, 309-743-8103 or by email at [email protected]
What is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?
The Freedom of Information Act pertains to the District's obligation to provide transparency in regard to public records. The principle mandate of the Act states that "each public body shall make available to any person for inspection and copying all public records."
What are Public Records?
According to the Illinois General Assembly, Public Records means "all records, reports, forms, writings, letters, memoranda, books, papers, maps, photographs, microfilms, cards, tapes, recordings, electronic data processing records, electronic communications, recorded information and all other documentary materials pertaining to the transaction of public business, regardless of physical form or characteristics, having been prepared by or for, or having been or being used by, received by, in the possession of, or under the control of any public body."
What Records are Protected?
This law also recognizes the importance of protecting personal privacy for staff and students, and some records must be kept confidential. District personnel inspects the results of any FOIA request and redacts information that may impede on staff or student's right to privacy. Examples of records exempt under this act include documents related to labor negotiations, materials that could compromise the District's security (both physical and network), medical records, and records related to litigation or other legal proceedings. For more information about information and records protected by privacy laws, please see the Illinois General Assembly website.
Guidelines for Requesting Public Records under the FOIA Act
As per the guidelines of this act, the District will respond to written requests or requests submitted by the District's online form within 5 business days. The response will include the requested information if it is permissible. The District will respond to the requestor in writing any inability to provide the records due to privacy or undue burden as prescribed by the act.
To ensure a timely response from the District, please be sure that the request clearly identifies the desired records and pertinent contact information of the requestor. The District may request an extension or deny a request if:
- the request requires the collection of a substantial number of documents (either paper or electronic);
- the request requires extensive searching;
- the requested records need to be reviewed by staff who can determine if they are exempt from the FOIA act;
- the requested records cannot be produced without unduly burdening the District or interfering with its operations;
- the requested records are exempt due to privacy;
- the request for records is for commercial purposes, which qualifies for a 21-day extension.
Procedure to Submit a FOIA Request
Requests can be made by:
- Printing and mailing the District Freedom of Information Request Form (PDF format)
- Completing and submitting the District's Online Form
- Send an email with the specific request to Kristin Sanders, Asst. Superintendent for Pupil Services at [email protected].
Procedure to Appeal FOIA Decisions
Requestors have the right to appeal the District's response to any request or denial of any request. Appeals must be addressed to the Illinois Attorney General, c/o of the Public Access Counselor. This office can be reached by phone at 217-558-0486, or by email at [email protected].
Public Records Readily Available
Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, the District is required to list the public records immediately available for public inspection on its website.
- Financial Records
- Levy resolution and certificate of tax levy
- Salary Schedules
- General Records
- Board of Education meetings and agendas
- Board of Education minutes
- Bidding specifications
- Board of Education approved policy
- Code of Ethics
- Legal notices