Q&A: School superintendent contract

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From the Perry County News (Tell City):

Q: During a regular school-board meeting, the interim superintendent for Cannelton City Schools distributed a proposed addendum to his contract that would extend it. He asked board members to consider it for action at a meeting next week.

After the meeting, I requested a copy. The superintendent responded that he would not provide a copy until after the board approves it, if they do. Can he deny access to the record?  

A: When the superintendent handed it to the board members, it became a public record.

The assumption is that public records are available for inspection and copying unless the public agency can cite statutory authority that either requires or gives it the discretion to keep them confidential.

You need to ask the school board president or superintendent what statutory basis they are relying on to deny your request.

The fact that it hasn’t been approved yet doesn’t matter.

Contact Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, with media law questions at skey@hspa.com or (317) 624-4427.

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