NewsEducation / February 18, 2019

Schools Could Charge For Public Records Searches Under Bill

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Rep. Bob Behning is the chairman of the House Education Committee.  - (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Rep. Bob Behning is the chairman of the House Education Committee.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

State lawmakers Monday advanced a bill that allows schools to charge for public record searches, as long as those searches require more than five hours of work.

Staff emails at school districts and charter schools are subject to public records requests. Under current law, state agencies can charge for copies of a record - but not for the time and effort of doing a search.

House Education Committee Chair Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) offered the change as an amendment to a larger education bill.

"We personally believe that it was way too broad to say that no email - that schools could be sheltered from having to provide emails," Behning says.

The amendment puts the bill's language more in line with previous bills vetoed by former Govs. Mike Pence and Eric Holcomb.

The bill passed through committee with a vote of 11 to 2. It now moves to the House.

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