Dept of Ed - anti-trans

Josh Israel filed this request with the U.S. Department of Education of the United States of America.
Tracking #

17-01998-F

Status
Completed

Communications

From: Josh Israel

Dear Sir or Madam:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records: Any emails sent to Secretary DeVos and any staff members that would likely review correspondence sent to her attention, between the period of February 7 and February 23, 2017, that contain any of the following terms: "Transgender" "Bathroom" "Colleague" "Sessions" "Title IX" "LGBT" "LGBTQ" or "Bathrooms."

As a representative of the news media I am only required to pay for the direct cost of duplication after the first 100 pages. Through this request, I am gathering information on what information the Secretary was receiving prior to her decision to withdraw the existing guidance. That is of current interest to the public as the right of trans students to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity is a current major national issue, the subject of legal and legislative action across the country.

This information is being sought on behalf of ThinkProgress.org (an online news service) for dissemination to the general public and this request is not being made for commercial purposes. I am a reporter with ThinkProgress, an online news site with a national audience seeking these documents entirely for news-gathering purposes.

I would like to receive the information in the following format: electronic.

Please waive any applicable fees. Release of the information is in the public interest because it is vital that people have a transparent understanding of who has been guiding her decisionmaking on this issue. 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.

If my request is denied in whole or part, I ask that you justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I will also expect you to release all segregable portions of otherwise exempt material. I, of course, reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to deny a waiver of fees.

As I am making this request as a journalist and this information is of timely value, I would appreciate your communicating with me by email or telephone, rather than by mail, if you have questions regarding this request.

Please provide expedited processing of this request which concerns a matter of urgency. As a journalist, I am primarily engaged in disseminating information. The public has an urgent need for information because this is currently a major national topic of discussion and decision-making my local school boards about whether the new guidance is or is not valid is currently being assessed nationally.

I certify that my statements concerning the need for expedited processing are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.

I look forward to your reply within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Josh Israel
202-478-5317
jisrael@thinkprogress.org

From: Short, Jacqueline (Contractor)

Good morning:

The Office of the Secretary (OS) is still processing your request and are unable to give me a completion date at this time. I will continue to check on the process of this request.

v/r,

JACQUELINE (JACKIE) M. SHORT
FOIA Analyst
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave. SW, Room 4C155
Washington, DC 20202-4510

From: Cook, Elise

Dear Mr. Israel,

Please find attached above, the final response to your fee waiver request.

Thank you,

Elise Cook
Government Information Specialist
FOIA Service Center
Office of The Chief Privacy Officer
US Department of Education
(202) 401-8365

From: Cook, Elise

The Office of the Secretary office is experiencing a very high volume of FOIA requests. They are continuing to process your request. Unfortunately they are unable to provide a more definite timeframe for completion. I will contact you as soon as I receive any information regarding your request.

Thank you for your patience and I apologize for the delay in responding to you. Please feel free to check back with us at any time. The FOIA analyst responsible for tracking the progress of your request is Jacqueline Short.

Elise Cook
Government Information Specialist
FOIA Service Center
Office of The Chief Privacy Officer
US Department of Education
(202) 401-8365

Telework Days:
Mondays and Wednesdays
AWS day 2nd Friday of pay period

From: Cook, Elise

Dear Mr. Israel,

The Department is continuing to process your FOIA request. We have granted your expedited processing request. Unfortunately I am unable to provide a more definite processing completion date. The FOIA Service Center analyst that is assigned to your case is Karen Shaw. I have added her to this email. In the future, she may be able to provide you a more informative status update.

Elise Cook
Government Information Specialist
FOIA Service Center
Office of The Chief Privacy Officer
US Department of Education
(202) 401-8365

From: U.S. Department of Education

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

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