Carve me up and serve me on a platter! I have seen a lot in Delaware the past few years, but this one takes the proverbial cake! On May 26th, I submitted a FOIA complaint against Early College High School regarding their Board of Director meetings. It was three-fold. The Delaware Attorney General’s office responded today. I get what they were saying regarding my first two complaints. But the third one. Oh. My. God. This is stuff kids on Romper Room know about FOIA!
My third complaint dealt with ECHS’ Citizens Budget Oversight Committee not posting an agenda for their meeting. I sent a picture of it with my official complaint. But that seems to be okay with the Attorney General’s office, because in their response they actually wrote these words:
…even if the ECHS CBOC did indeed fail to post such information to the ECHS website, such conduct would not amount to a FOIA violation. Indeed, while we encourage the practice in the interest of transparency, FOIA does not require charter schools – or any other public body outside of the executive branch of state government – to post notice of meetings to its website.
Okay. The last time I looked, they did have to. But just to be sure (and since the same office at the DOJ already ruled in December of 2015 the Delaware Department of Education violated FOIA by not… drum roll… posting an agenda for a public meeting within seven days of the meeting), I checked Delaware state code.
10004 e 4: “for all noncounty and nonmunicipal public bodies, public notice required by this subsection shall include, but not be limited to, electronic posting on a designated State of Delaware website, approved by the Registrar of Regulations by May 1, 2013, which shall be accessible to the public.”
Excuse me. Isn’t a Citizen’s Budget Oversight Committee a public meeting? It is also a requirement by the Delaware DOE that charter schools post this on their website. But I guess somewhere along the way the Delaware Department of Justice rewrote their FOIA law without any legislative authority.
Uhm, can you guys maybe redo this opinion? Come on! This is FOIA 101! I know there is a slant towards charter schools at times. And it’s not like anything would come of this, but at least be accurate with the law that is already on the books!
Updated, 8:42pm: I reread the response to this part of my FOIA complaint. Hello! I sent you a picture AND a link to the Internet Wayback Machine which froze the link at that moment in time!
Really guys? I just can’t anymore! I really can’t. Where else am I going to look on their website for their CBOC agenda for their quarterly Spring 2017 meeting? I can do this job. Hire me. Please!
2 thoughts on “Delaware Attorney General’s Office Ignores FOIA Law In, Uhm, Opinion About, Uhm, A FOIA Complaint!”
I am seriously beginning to think they don’t look this stuff up. DOE would be considered an executive branch of State Government. But your research clearly shows they failed to research other government entities.
The same person who wrote this opinion used to work at the DOE and was very involved with the Charter School Office. Just putting that out there…
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