ACES modifies May 29, 2015 FOIA/Public Records Request to Stanly County Board of Education

ACES agrees to withdraw portions of its FOIA request to exclude email correspondence as previously requested now that all schools are to remain open.
ALBEMARLE, N.C. - June 10, 2015 - PRLog -- On May 29, the 2015, Advocates for Communities and Excellence in Schools, Inc. (“ACES”), a non-profit entity established by residents of Stanly County, North Carolina whose mission is to advocate for equal opportunities for all students in Stanly County schools submitted a public records request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to the Stanly County Board of Education. This request was made to obtain copies of certain documents  pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act and N.C.G.S. Chapter 132 (the “N.C. Public Record Statutes”).  ACES is of the opinion that the Requested Public Records fall into the definition of “Public Records” set forth in N.C. Public Record Statute § 132-1(a), and that, under N.C. Public Record Statute § 132-2.

Although ACES remains very concerned about the viability of Superintendent Terry Griffin's proposals to close at least 3 Stanly County elementary schools plus two high schools either being closed or altered and take other related action ("Proposals A & B"), ACES is encouraged that the Board of Education voted unanimously on Tuesday June 2, 2015 to keep all Stanly County schools open for the 2015-2016 school year. Given this development, the anticipated cost of compliance, combined with the fact that outstanding transportation and redistricting studies, facility studies, and demographic studies are yet to be completed, ACES has agreed to rescind all items that requested emails to and from Stanly County Administrators and Employees as well as members of the elected Board of Education.

ACES will now only request  those certain items listed below that were acknowledged by Stanly County Schools Finance & Auxilliary Services Director, Bill Josey as being "a very typical request throughout the year and on a normal basis".

ACES President, John Mullis stated, "It is the desire of ACES that once reports are completed and ready for public release, those reports should be immediately released on the school website.  Hopefully, this will allow the Board of Education the information and necessary time to adequately review the results, and inform the public of their intended direction for the 2016-2017 school year. ACES will continue to push for transparency and release of public records, so that all citizens have the opportunity to understand what proposals are under consideration and what facts are informing those proposals." Mullis continued, "while Dr. Griffin's Reinvestment for the Future plan has focused solely on proposals A & B, additional time will now allow her to GET THIS RIGHT and move the Stanly County school system forward in a positive direction while allowing for more educational opportunities for all students in our community based school structure".

  FOIA/Public Records Request as amended:

(1)          The current (2015) results, as they are completed, of the “Transportation studies including simulations, Redistricting and Boundary Studies as well as the Demographic studies” as requested in the Proposals of Plans A & B;

(2)          The current (2015) “Facilities & Feasibility Studies”, as they are completed, being conducted by Pinnacle Architecture;

(3)          Minutes from “Closed Session” meetings of the BoE (and supporting documents referenced in those minutes), excluding personnel matters, for the period June 1, 2013 to May 29, 2015;

(4)          Minutes from “Facilities and Finance” meetings (and supporting documents referenced in those minutes) for the period June 1, 2013 to May 29, 2015.

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