Kentucky Teachers Strike 2018

Liam Knox filed this request with the Kentucky Department of Education of Kentucky.
Status
Rejected

Communications

From: Liam Knox


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Kentucky Open Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

All emails concerning the Kentucky Teachers Strike from March 29-April 6, 2018. Please use the keywords "Kentucky Education Association," "strike," "teachers strike," "called out," and "sick."

I request that I be properly classified as a news media requester. I am an intern for MuckRock, and I am requesting this information in that editorial capacity. MuckRock is widely known for its investigative work as well as historical pieces based on public records requests.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

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 3 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Liam Knox

From: Kentucky Department of Education

Mr. Knox,

On April 12, 2019, I received your request for public records pursuant to the Kentucky Open Records Act (Act). Pursuant to the Act, you requested the following records from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE):

* All emails concerning the Kentucky Teachers Strike from February 26, 2019 to the present. Please use the keywords "Kentucky Education Association," "strike," "teachers strike," "called out," and "sick."

On that same day, under separate cover, I received your request for the following records:

* All emails concerning the Kentucky Teachers Strike from March 29-April 6, 2018. Please use the keywords "Kentucky Education Association," "strike," "teachers strike," "called out," and "sick."
The Open Records Act requires an applicant for public records to describe the requested records with enough specificity to allow the public agency to identify and locate the records. See 03-ORD-213, 03-ORD-12, 02-ORD-161, and 98-ORD-17. As such, a public agency is not obligated to honor blanket requests on a particular subject, (see OAG 90-83 and 95-ORD-108) including a request for all records on a particular topic. 15-ORD-086. "A request for any and all records which contain a name, a term, or a phrase is not a properly framed records request, and...generally need not be honored. Such a request places an unreasonable burden on the agency to produce often incalculable numbers of widely disbursed and ill-defined public records." See 99-ORD-14.

Both of the above cited requests are blanket requests for any and all records on a particular topic during a particular timeframe, and neither describes records with enough specificity to allow KDE to identify and locate records. As such, KDE is unable to honor these blanket requests on a particular subject as set forth in both of your emails of April 12.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
Deanna Durrett
[image004]

Deanna L. Durrett

General Counsel
Office of Legal Services

Department of Education

300 Sower Blvd, 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 892-6153
Deanna.durrett@education.ky.gov<mailto:Deanna.durrett@education.ky.gov>

This email may contain confidential data or information and is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute, or copy this e-mail, and you are requested to notify the sender immediately.

From: Kentucky Department of Education

We issued responses within the statutory timeframe to the two requests we received. The two responses were contained in a single email, which I am reattaching here.

Many thanks,
Deanna

[image004]

Deanna L. Durrett

General Counsel
Office of Legal Services

Department of Education

300 Sower Blvd, 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 892-6153
Deanna.durrett@education.ky.gov<mailto:Deanna.durrett@education.ky.gov>

This email may contain confidential data or information and is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute, or copy this e-mail, and you are requested to notify the sender immediately.

From: Kentucky Department of Education

We issued responses within the statutory timeframe to the two requests we received. The two responses were contained in a single email, which I am reattaching here.

Many thanks,
Deanna

[image004]

Deanna L. Durrett

General Counsel
Office of Legal Services

Department of Education

300 Sower Blvd, 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 892-6153
Deanna.durrett@education.ky.gov<mailto:Deanna.durrett@education.ky.gov>

This email may contain confidential data or information and is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute, or copy this e-mail, and you are requested to notify the sender immediately.

From: Liam Knox

Hi Deanna,

I am appealing your rejection of the request. I specified which keywords to use in an email search, and that should narrow it enough to make it a reasonable request and not a blanket one.

--Liam Knox

From: Kentucky Department of Education

Good afternoon, Mr. Knox.

Via this email address (requests@muckrock.com), on April 12, 2019, I received your request for public records pursuant to the Kentucky Open Records Act (Act). Pursuant to the Act, you requested the following records from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE):

· All emails concerning the Kentucky Teachers Strike from March 29-April 6, 2018. Please use the keywords "Kentucky Education Association," "strike," "teachers strike," "called out," and "sick."

The Department responded that "KDE is unable to honor th[is] blanket request[] on a particular subject[.]"

I want to reiterate that your request for "all emails" on a certain topic/topics does not provide an identifiable class of records that would allow the agency to identify and locate public records responsive to your request. See 15-ORD-086. Even though you provide search terms, KDE would be required to search the incoming and outgoing emails of every employee the Department has, and the search terms provided are so general as to related to a multitude of topics handled by the Department and/or discussed by Department employees.

The Attorney General has found that, "[a] request for any and all records which contain a name, a term, or a phrase is not a properly framed records request, and... generally need not be honored. Such a request places an unreasonable burden on the agency to produce often incalculable numbers of widely disbursed and ill-defined public records." See 99-ORD-14; see also 00-ORD-79 (in which the AG found that a request for copies of "[a]ny and all records related to the granting of easements by the City of Indian Hills to its property owners for the purpose of connecting to any MSD sewer line ... from January 1, 1990 to January 1, 1999" was properly denied for lack of a precise description).

Thus, the Department denied your request.

To properly appeal this decision, please reference KRS § 61.880 (Denial of inspection; role of Attorney General) and KRS § 61.882 (Jurisdiction of Circuit Court in action seeking right of inspection; burden of proof; costs; attorney fees).

Thank you,
Deanna Durrett
[image004]

Deanna L. Durrett

General Counsel
Office of Legal Services

Department of Education

300 Sower Blvd, 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 892-6153
Deanna.durrett@education.ky.gov<mailto:Deanna.durrett@education.ky.gov>

This email may contain confidential data or information and is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute, or copy this e-mail, and you are requested to notify the sender immediately.

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