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PUBLIC INFORMATION

"Public information" means information that is collected, assembled, or maintained under a law, or ordinance, or in connection with the transaction of official business by the Board, or for the Board and to which the Board has a right of access. Govt. Code 552.002(a)

AVAILABILITY

Public information is available, at a minimum, to the public during the School's normal business hours.  Gov't Code 552.021

Unless they are expressly confidential under other law, categories of public information that are not excepted from required disclosure under this policy include:

  1. A completed report, audit, evaluation, or investigation made of, for, or by, the Board except as provided in Government Code 552.108.
  2. The name, sex, ethnicity, salary, title, and dates of employment of each employee and officer of the School.
  3. Information in any account, voucher, or contract relating to the receipt, or expenditure, of public funds.
  4. The names of each official and the final record of voting on all proceedings of the Board.
  5. All working papers, research material, and information used to estimate the need, or expenditure, of public funds, or taxes, by the Board, on completion of the estimate.
  6. A description of the School's organization and where, from whom, and how the public may obtain information, submit information or requests, or obtain decisions.
  7. A statement of the general course and method by which the School's functions are channeled and determined, including the nature and requirements of all formal and informal policies and procedures.
  8. A rule of procedure, descriptions of forms available, or the places where forms may be obtained, and instructions relating to the scope and content of all papers, reports, or examinations.
  9. A substantive rule of general applicability adopted by the Board, and a statement of general policy, or interpretation of general applicability formulated and adopted by the Board.
  10. Any amendment, revision, or repeal of the information described in items 6-9.
  11. Final opinions and orders issued in adjudication of cases.
  12. A policy statement, or interpretation, adopted by the Board.
  13. Administrative manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public.
  14. Information regarded as open to the public under the School's policies.
  15. Information that is in a bill for attorney's fees and that is not privileged under the attorney-client privilege, or confidential under other law.
  16. Information that is also contained in a public court record.
  17. A settlement agreement to which the Board is a party.

A court in this state may not order the Board or the School's officer of public information to withhold from public inspection any category of public information described above or to not produce the information for inspection or duplication, unless the information is expressly made confidential under other law.
Govt. Code 552.022

EMPLOYEE/BOARD MEMBER PERSONAL INFORMATION

Each School employee and Board member, and each former employee and Board member, shall choose whether to allow public access to School-held information relating to the person's home address, telephone number, or social security number, or any other information that reveals whether the person has family members. Employees and officers shall state their choice to the School's Human Resources Director not later than the 14th day after employment begins, or appointment to the Board occurs, or service with the School ends. If an employee, or officer, fails to state his, or her, choice within 14 days, the information is available to the public. However, Board member, or employee, may make a written request at any time to the Human Resources Director to open, or close, the information relating to the person's home address, telephone number, social security number, or any other information that reveals whether the person has family members.
Govt. Code 552.024

EVALUATIONS

A document evaluating the performance of a teacher or administrator is confidential.
Education Code 21.355

CREDIT CARD, DEBIT CARD, CHARGE CARD, AND ACCESS DEVICE NUMBERS

A credit card, debit card, charge card, or access device number that is collected, assembled, or maintained by or for the School is confidential.

"Access device" means a card, plate, code, account number, personal identification number, electronic serial number, mobile identification number, or other telecommunications service, equipment, or instrument identifier or means of account access that alone or in conjunction with another device may be used to:

  1. Obtain money, goods, services, or another thing of value; or
  2. Initiate a transfer of funds other than a transfer originated solely by paper instrument.

Gov't Code 552.136

E-MAIL ADDRESSES

Confidential

An e-mail address of a member of the public that is provided for the purpose of communicating electronically with the School is confidential and not subject to disclosure unless the member of the public affirmatively consents to its release.

Exceptions

This confidentiality does not apply to an e-mail address:

  1. Provided to the School by a person who has a contractual relationship with the School or by the contractor's agent;
  2. Provided to the School by a vendor who seeks to contract with the School or by the vendor's agent;
  3. Contained in a response to a request for bids or proposals, contained in a response to similar invitations soliciting offers or information relating to a potential contract, or provided to the School in the course of negotiating the terms of a contract or potential contract; or
  4. Provided to the School on a letterhead, coversheet, printed document, or other document made available to the public.

The School may also disclose an e-mail address for any reason to another governmental body or to a federal agency.
Gov't Code 552.137

INFORMATION EXCEPTED FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE

The Board or the School's officer for public information voluntarily may make part or all of its records available to the public, unless the disclosure is expressly prohibited by law or the records are confidential by law.  Gov't Code 552.007

Categories of information that are not required to be disclosed to the public include:

  1. Information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional,
  2. Information in a personnel file, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, and transcripts from institutions of higher education maintained in files of professional employees; however, the degree obtained and the curriculum on the transcripts shall be subject to disclosure. Govt. Code 552.102
  3. Information in the custody of the School that relates to an employee or officer of the School if, under the specific circumstances pertaining to the employee or officer, disclosure of the information would subject the employee or officer to a substantial threat of physical harm.        Govt. Code 552.151
  4. Information relating to litigation of a civil, or criminal, nature, or settlement negotiations to which the School is, or may be, a party, or to which an officer, or employee of the School, as a consequence of the office or employment, is, or may be, a party, that the Attorney General or the respective attorneys have determined should be withheld from public inspection.Govt. Code 552.103
  5. Information that, if released, would give advantage to competitors, or bidders. Govt. Code 552.104
  6. Information pertaining to the location of real, or personal, property for public purpose prior to public announcement of the project, or information pertaining to appraisals, or purchase price, of real, or personal, property for a public purpose prior to the formal award of contracts for the property Govt. Code 552.105
  7. Drafts and working papers involved in the preparation of proposed legislation. Govt. Code 552.106
  8. Information the School's attorney is prohibited from disclosing because of a duty to the School under the Texas Rules of Civil Evidence, the Texas Rules of Criminal Evidence, or the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, or information that a court order has prohibited from disclosure. Govt. Code 552.107
  9. Information collected to comply with Education Code Chapter 22, Subchapter C (criminal records), including the person’s name, address, phone number, social security number, driver’s license number, other identification number, and fingerprint records.       Education Code 22.08391
  10. Criminal history record information obtained by the School from the Texas Department of Public Safety.  Govt. Code 411.097(d)(2)
  11. Under certain circumstances, information (except basic information about an arrested person, an arrest, or a crime) held by a law enforcement agency or prosecutor, including:
    1. Information that deals with detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime; and
    2. An internal record or notation that is maintained for internal use in matters relating to law enforcement or prosecution.
    Gov't Code 552.108
  12. Private correspondence and communications of an elected office holder relating to matters the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of privacy. Govt. Code 552.109
  13. A trade secret obtained from a person and privileged or confidential by statute or judicial decision.  Gov't Code 552.110(a)
  14. Commercial or financial information for which it is demonstrated based on specific factual evidence that disclosure would cause substantial competitive harm to the person from whom the information was obtained.  Gov't Code 552.110(b)
  15. Interagency, or intra-agency, memoranda, or letters that would not be available by law to a party in litigation with the School. Govt. Code 552.109
  16. An audit working paper of an audit of the School’s auditor, including any audit relating to the criminal history background check of a school employee.  If information in an audit working paper is also maintained in another record, that other record is not exempted. Govt.  Code 552.116
  17. Student records, except to School personnel, the student, or the student's parents, guardians, or spouse. The School is not required to release student records, except in conformity with FERPA. Govt. Code 552.114, 552.026 (See also FL)
  18. Information that relates to the home address, home telephone number, or social security number of the following persons, or that reveals whether the person has family members:
    1. A current or former School employee or Board member, except as provided by Section 552.024; or
    2. A peace officer or a security officer commissioned by the Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies, regardless of whether the officer complies with Section 552.1175.
    Gov't Code 552.1217
  19. A photograph that depicts a peace officer, the release of which would endanger the life or physical safety of the officer, unless:
    1. The officer is under indictment or charged with an offense by information;
    2. The officer is a party in a fire or police civil service hearing or a case in arbitration; or
    3. The photograph is introduced as evidence in a judicial proceeding. If a photograph is exempt from public disclosure as described above, it may be made public only if the officer gives written consent.
    Gov't Code 552.119
  20. Test items developed by the School. Govt. Code 552.122
  21. The certified agenda, or tape recording, of a closed meeting, unless a court order makes it available for public inspection and copying. Govt. Code 551.104(c)
  22. Records of a school library, or library system, that identify, or serve to identify, a person who requested, obtained, or used, a library material or service, unless the records are disclosed:
    1. Because the library determines that disclosure is reasonably necessary for the operation of the library and the records are not confidential under other state, or federal, law;
    2. To a person with a special right of access under Government Code 522.023; or
    3. To a law enforcement agency, or prosecutor, under a court order, or subpoena.
    Govt. Code 552.124
  23. The name of an applicant for Superintendent, except the Board must give public notice of the name or names of the finalists being considered for the position at least 21 days before the date of the meeting at which final action or a vote is to be taken on the applicant's employment. Gov't Code 552.126 (See BJB)
  24. Motor vehicle record information that relates to:
    1. A motor vehicle operator's or driver's license or permit issued by an agency of this state;
    2. A motor vehicle title or registration issued by an agency of this state; or
    3. A personal identification document issued by an agency of this state or a local agency authorized to issue an identification document.
    The motor vehicle information described above may be released only in accordance with Transportation Code Chapter 730.
  25. An informer's name or information that would substantially reveal the identity of an informer, unless:
    1. The informer or the informer's spouse consents to disclosure of the informer's name.
    2. The informer planned, initiated, or participated in the possible violation. "Informer" means a student or former student or an employee or former employee of the School who has furnished a report of another person's possible violation of criminal, civil, or regulatory law to the School or the proper regulatory enforcement authority.
    Gov't Code 552.135
  26. Information in a commercial book, or publication, purchased, or acquired, by the School for research purposes, if the book, or publication, is commercially available to the public. The School is not required to make copies of commercially available information, but the School shall allow the inspection of information in a book, or publication, that is made part of, incorporated into, or referred to, in a rule, or policy, of the School. Govt. Code 552.027 The requirement of Government Code 552.022 that a category of information listed under 552.022(a) is public information and not excepted from required disclosure unless expressly confidential under law does not apply; to information that is excepted from required disclosure under this paragraph. Govt. Code 552.007
  27. Information that relates to economic development negotiations involving the Board and a business prospect that the Board seeks to have locate, stay, or expand in or near the School, if that information relates to:
    1. A trade secret of the business prospect; or
    2. Commercial or financial information for which it is demonstrated based on specific factual evidence that disclosure would cause substantial competitive harm to the person from whom the information was obtained.
  28. Unless and until an agreement is made with the business prospect, information about a financial or other incentive being offered to a business prospect by the Board or by another person. After an agreement is made, information about a financial or other incentive being offered is no longer exempted from public disclosure if the information is about a financial or other incentive being offered to the business prospect:
    1. By the Board; or
    2. By another person, if the financial or other incentive may directly or indirectly result in the expenditure of public funds by the School or a reduction in revenue received by the School from any source.
    Gov't Code 552.131
  29. Information that relates to computer network security or to the design, operation, or defense of a computer network. The following information is confidential:
    1. A computer network vulnerability report; and
    2. Any other assessment of the extent to which data processing operations, a computer, or a computer program, network, system, or software of the School or of a contractor of the School is vulnerable to unauthorized access or harm, including an assessment of the extent to which a district's or contractor's electronically stored information is vulnerable to alteration, damage, or erasure.
    Gov't Code 552.136

MILITARY DISCHARGE RECORDS

  1. A military veteran's Department of Defense Form DD-214 or other military discharge record that first comes into the possession of the School on or after September 1, 2003. The record is confidential for the 75 years following the date it comes into the possession of the School in accordance with Government Code Section 552.140. If the School obtains information from the record, the School shall limit the use and disclosure of the information to the purpose for which the information was obtained.

Gov’t Code Code 552.140

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS

  1. The Social Security number of a living person. The School may redact the Social Security number of a living person from any information the School discloses to the public without the necessity of requesting a decision from the attorney general. Gov't Code 552.147

INVESTMENT INFORMATION

  1. Certain School investment information, as specified by Government Code 552.143, is not public information and is excepted from disclosure. Gov't Code 552.143

Adopted:          5/8/81
Amended:        3/12/82, 10/25/85, 3/10/88, 9/27/90, 1/29/93, 11/18/94, 9/27/96, 1/24/02, 5/28/03, 5/25/04, 5/25/05, 1/26/07, 11/20/09
Reviewed:        1/26/99