Teacher's Union DoE FOIA

Andrew Goodrich filed this request with the Department of Education of Massachusetts .
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Andrew Goodrich

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Correspondence between teachers' union officials (Massachusetts Teachers' Association, American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, and/or Boston Teachers' Union) and the Department of Education.

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,

Andrew Goodrich

From: Varon, Joshua (DOE)

Dear Mr. Goodrich:

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education ("Department") received your request for certain public records on 4/14/16. These records include "[c]orrespondence between teachers' union officials (Massachusetts Teachers' Association, American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, and/or Boston Teachers' Union) and the Department of Education."

The Department is unable to identify specific public records that respond to your request. According to guidance from the Supervisor of Public Records, while records custodians have an obligation to use their superior knowledge of agency records to identify what may respond to a specific request, the requesting party "must provide a reasonable description of the requested records." A Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, p.5 (Jan. 2013). The Department communicates with teachers' union staff and officials on a regular basis and on a variety of matters. Absent a reasonable description of the specific communications you wish to review, the Department cannot identify, review, and produce these records for you.

To clarify your request, you can respond to this email or call me by phone. Please let me know your preference and also be aware that I will not be able to process your request until I have a better understanding of the records you seek. You can reach me by use of the contact information below. Additionally, please be advised that if you wish to challenge this response, you may appeal to the Supervisor of Public Records following the procedure contained in 950 C.M.R. § 32.08(2).

Josh Varon
Legal Counsel
MA Dept. of Elem. and Sec. Ed.
jvaron@doe.mass.edu<mailto:jvaron@doe.mass.edu>
781-338-3400

From: Andrew Goodrich

To clarify the officials whose communications with the DoE we are requesting, they are the following: Barbara Madeloni, Kate Donaghey, Catherine Fichtner, Julia Johnson, Sean King, Nichola Puleo, Jill Scalzo, Richard Stutman, and Angela Cristiani.

From: Varon, Joshua (DOE)

Mr. Goodrich,

Thank you for your patience. This has taken longer than usual because, to acquire the records responsive to this request, I needed to access the archived email of former Senior Associate Commissioner, Alan Ingram. Having gained access to his email, I anticipate no further delays in production.

Thank you,

Josh Varon
Legal Counsel
MA Dept. of Elem. and Sec. Ed.
jvaron@doe.mass.edu<mailto:jvaron@doe.mass.edu>
781-338-3400

From: Varon, Joshua (DOE)

I have responded to this request.

Josh Varon
Legal Counsel
MA Dept. of Elem. and Sec. Ed.
jvaron@doe.mass.edu<mailto:jvaron@doe.mass.edu>
781-338-3400

From: Reis, Jacqueline

Hi Mr. Goodrich,

I apologize for having to ask this, but our records have contradicting information on the subject: Did we send you a response to this in October?

Jackie

Jacqueline Reis
Media Relations Coordinator
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Office: (781) 338-3115
Cell: (781) 605-4419

From: Andrew Goodrich

Hello Jacqualine,

I do have an email from Joshua Varon from 7/2016 and again on 10/2016 saying that this request will be and has been replied to, however, I still do not have any documents or files.

As you can see I have been using Muckrock for this request and Muckrock also shows no documents uploaded or sent.

Take care,
Andrew

From: Reis, Jacqueline

Thank you. I’ll see what I can do to get you the files, and I apologize for the delay.

Jackie

Jacqueline Reis
Media Relations Coordinator
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Office: (781) 338-3115
Cell: (781) 605-4419

From: Andrew Goodrich

I understand you probably get lots of requests and it can at times be onerous. I appreciate your efforts and your willingness to help get those files. Kind Regards,
Andrew

From: Reis, Jacqueline

Hi Andrew,

Our response to your request is attached. I apologize both for the initial delay and for the later confusion about whether this had already been sent.

Best wishes,

Jackie

Jacqueline Reis
Media Relations Coordinator
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Office: (781) 338-3115
Cell: (781) 605-4419

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