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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mass. tells public school system it can't charge $14K for directory data

Cambridge Public Schools argued that it would cost $14,426.88 to compile directory information on its students. This did not even include reproduction costs for the copies of documents. Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records has given the district 10 days to respond with a reasonable charge.

The state’s public records division ordered Cambridge Public Schools to nix its $14,000 charge for public information, saying the school district should be charging a reasonable rate for a complete list of students.

The Chronicle originally made the request in 2007 using the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act to gain access to a list of Cambridge Public School students that would be used for informational purposes, not for publication.

“You are hereby ordered to provide [the Chronicle] with a revised written, good faith estimate which reflects the actual costs of providing the names of the students whose parents have consented to release of ‘directory information,” Supervisor of Public Records Alan Cote wrote in a Feb. 12 letter.

More here.

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