Cambridge Charter Cap Emails

Meredith Segal filed this request with the Cambridge Public Schools of Cambridge, MA.

It is a clone of this request.

Est. Completion None
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Payment Required

Communications

From: Meredith Segal

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, I hereby request the following records:

Any email messages and/or attachments sent or received on any official school or school district email account between January 1, 2016 and present that concern or make mention of any of the following topics:

- The November 2016 ballot question regarding charter school policy, a/k/a Question2
- “Great Schools Massachusetts”
- “Save Our Public Schools”
- “Boston Education Justice Alliance” (BEJA)
- “Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance” (MEJA)
- “Massachusetts Jobs with Justice”
- “Citizens for Public Schools”

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Meredith Segal

From: Cambridge Public Schools

A letter stating the requester must agree to or prepay assessed or estimated fees in order for the agency to continue processing the request.

From: Cambridge Public Schools

A letter stating the requester must agree to or prepay assessed or estimated fees in order for the agency to continue processing the request.

From: Maureen MacFarlane

VIA EMAIL AND VIA FIRST CLASS MAIL AND VIA CERTIFIED MAIL/RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED

November 14, 2016

MuckRock
DEPT MR 28408
411A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516

RE: Public Records Request dated November 14, 2016

Dear Ms. Segal:

Your email of November 14, 2016 entitled "Public Records Law Request: Cambridge Charter Cap Emails" has been received the Cambridge Public Schools.. Your November 14th email, which is sent in follow- to your email of November 4th, your email of
October 20th (which you reference in this email as being dated October 24th), which was sent in follow up to your email of October 13th, which was sent in follow up to your email of October 3rd, which was sent in follow up to your email of September
21st (which the school district actually received on September 15th from a JPat Brown of MuckRock) regarding a public records request to the Cambridge Public Schools, requesting copies of any email messages and/or attachments sent or received on any
official Cambridge Public Schools email account between January 1, 2016 and the present that concern or make mention of any of the following topics: (i) the November 2016 ballot question regarding charter school policy, a/k/a Question 2; (ii)
"Great Schools Massachusetts"; (iii) "Save Our Public Schools"; (iv) Boston Education Justice Alliance" (BEJA); (v) "Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance" (MEJA); (vi) "Massachusetts Jobs with Justice"; and (vii) Citizens for Public Schools is
being responded to once again. Please be advised that when the school district initially received the September 15, 2016 request from JPat Brown of MuckRock for this same information, it responded to the request on September 23, 2016.

When you sent your inquiry on October 3, 2016 as to the status of the district's response to this public records request (which your referenced in your email as having been dated September 21st and not September 15th), the school district, on
October 3, 2016, forwarded you a copy of its original response from September 23, 2016, and when you sent another inquiry as to the status of the school district's response to your public records request on October 13, 2016, the school district
responded (again) on October 13, 2016 by sending you (again) copies of its prior responses to this public records request, and in response to your email of October 20, 2016 (which you reference in subsequent emails as being sent on October 24th),
the school district once again provided you with a response to your request along with copies of its prior emails and correspondence sent to you responding to these request, an in response to your email of November 3, 2016, the school district
responded (again) on November 4, 2016 by providing you with a response to your request along with copies of its prior emails and correspondence sent to you regarding this request.

Accordingly, in response to your most recent email of November 14, 2016, which once again inquires as to the status of a response to a public records request for copies of any email messages and/or attachments sent or received on any official
Cambridge Public Schools email account between January 1, 2016 and the present that concern or make mention of any of the following topics: (i) the November 2016 ballot question regarding charter school policy, a/k/a Question 2; (ii) "Great Schools
Massachusetts"; (iii) "Save Our Public Schools"; (iv) Boston Education Justice Alliance" (BEJA); (v) "Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance" (MEJA); (vi) "Massachusetts Jobs with Justice"; and (vii) Citizens for Public Schools, please be advised
that the school district has enclosed/attached with this letter/email copies of all of its prior responses to you regarding this same public records for your reference.

Additionally, via this letter/email, the school district also, once again, responds to your public records request as follows:

With respect to your request for waiver of fees pursuant to 950 C.M.R. 32.06(5), please be advised that it is the practice of the school district not to waive applicable copying, search time and segregation time fees associated with public records
requests (unless the number of pages provided and the search and segregation time are minimal). Such charges are expressly permitted by the public records statute, M.G.L.c. 66, §10, and its regulations, and function to reimburse the public entity
for actual costs incurred in responding to a public records request.

Although you correctly note in your letter that the regulations provide that the custodian of the public records may waive such charges, the school district does not believe a practice of waiving such charges would be appropriate. The school
district receives a number of public records requests from private citizens and organization each year. Such requests often can require school district staff to devote substantial amounts of time locating, segregating and preparing public records
for production. The school district also incurs substantial photocopying and/or other reproduction costs in connection with its response to public records requests. Nor would it be fair for the school district to waive costs for some individuals
or organizations and not for others. Thus, while you are correct that the regulations encourage waiver where disclosure would benefit the public interest, the school district does not believe it would be appropriate or desirable to make a
determination as to which of the requests received are in the public interest and which are not. For the reasons above and in the interest of fairness to all users of public records, the school district declines to waive the costs associated with
your public records request. Note, however, that in declining to waive the fees, the school district is not making a determination regarding whether or not your specific request for public records is in the public interest.

In light of the foregoing, the Cambridge Public Schools hereby provides a good faith estimate, pursuant to 950 C.M.R. 32.06(2), of the cost of searching for and segregating responsive emails from Cambridge Public Schools email accounts in response
to your request. The school district estimates the cost to be $17,533.75 (seventeen thousand five hundred thirty-three dollars and seventy-five cents). The cost is comprised of approximately three hundred twenty five hours (325) hours for search
and segregation costs at the rate of $53.95 (fifty-three dollars and ninety-five cents) per hour. Please be advised that this is only an estimate and the actual costs associated with your public records request can only be determined after the
search and document preparation is actually completed.

Please provide a check payable to the City of Cambridge, in the amount of $17,533.75 (seventeen thousand five hundred thirty-three dollars and seventy-five cents). This check should be mailed to the attention of the Cambridge Public Schools, Office
of Legal Counsel, 159 Thorndike, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02141. Upon receipt of this check, the process of review, segregation and redaction of responsive documentation will be undertaken. In the event that the estimate is greater than the actual
cost of the review and segregation, the overage will be refunded. In the event that the cost of the review is underestimated, the review will be stopped at the point when the estimate has been reached, a further estimate will be performed, and upon
payment of the additional estimate, the review will continue.

Sincerely,

Maureen A. MacFarlane
Legal Counsel
Cambridge Public Schools
159 Thorndike Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
Phone: 617-349-6425
Facsimile: 617-349-6499
Email: MMacFarlane@cpsd.us

Attachments

The email and any attachments are intended only for the designated recipient(s) and may contain confidential or proprietary information and/or be subject to the attorney-client privilege or other confidentiality protections. The information is
intended for the use of the designated recipient(s). If you are not a designated recipient(s), you may not review, copy or distribute this message or any of its attachments. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender by
reply email and immediately delete this message and any attachments.
Pursuant to IRS Circular 230, please be advised that, to the extent this communication contains any tax advice, it is not intended to be, was not written to be, and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties under U.S.
federal tax law.

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