Iola-Scandinavia school leaders want state lawmakers to allow government agencies to charge people more for access to public records, including for lawyers to decide what information to keep hidden.
School board members unanimously approved a resolution in March that said the district spent roughly $27,000 on legal and administrative fees for processing records requests by community members and news outlets in 2017. The school board argues that the costs of complying with Wisconsin’s open records law are too burdensome on taxpayers and school children. It all stemmed from a request that asked the school district for a series of records last year seeking answers about why a popular school administrator had suddenly been placed on leave and forced to resign. The resolution grew out of concern that smaller school districts must pay for all the legal fees when they hire lawyers to help respond to records requests. She said the district isn’t opposed to releasing public records.