Public Records Requests
The Public Records Act is designed to give the public access to information in possession of public agencies. "Public records are open to inspection at all times during the office hours of the...agency and every person has a right to inspect any public record, except as...provided, [and to receive] and exact copy" of an identifiable record unless impracticable. Specific exceptions to disclosure are listed in Government Code sections 6253.2, 6253.5, 6253.6, 6254.1-6254.22, 6255, 6267, 6268, 6276.02-6276.48.The District’s policy and procedures for PRA Requests are outlined in BUL-3851.1, "California Public Records Act (“PRA”) Requests."
- What are public records?
"Public records" include any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used or retained by the agency regardless of physical form or characteristics. "Writing" means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photocopying, photographing, transmitting by electronic mail or facsimile, and every other means of recording upon any tangible thing, any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds or symbols or any combination thereof, and any record thereby created, regardless of the manner in which the record has been stored.
- What basic law provides public access to local government information and records in California?
The law is called the California Public Records Act (PRA), and begins with California Government Code Section 6250.
- What is the purpose of the PRA?
Its purpose is to permit the public to understand how the government is performing its functions. The law was enacted because "the Legislature, mindful of the right of individuals to privacy, finds and declares, that access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state."
- Who can initiate a public records request?
Any person can make a Public Records Act (PRA) Request. However, public disclosure is regulated by several different statutes dependent upon the a record. Such resources are Government Code 6250 et .seq. and 34090.6, Welfare and Institutions Code 827, California Vehicle Code 20012, Penal Code 841.5, 293, 11167.5 and 13300.
- What are the District's guidelines for PRA requests?
The District's policy and procedures for PRA Requests are outlined in District BUL-3851.1.
- What is the timeframe for the District's response to a PRA request?
Within ten (10) days from the date the Request is received, the District Respondent will determine whether the Request, in whole or in part, seeks copies of disclosable public records in the agency's possession and notify the Requestor of such determination. In unusual circumstances, the 10-day time limit may be extended up to an additional fourteen (14) days by written notice to the Requestor, setting forth the reason for the time extension. If the District Respondent determines it will comply with the Request, the records will be made available as promptly as possible upon payment of any applicable fees.
- How much does the District charge for copies of documents?
The District charges $0.25 cents for each page for copies of records up to 8 x 14 inches produced under a PRA Request, irrespective of whether they are produced in hard or electronic format. There are additional charges for computer processing fees and postage. The actual cost of duplication of records produced in other formats, such as blueprints, computer disk or electronic back-up tapes must be charged on a case-by-case, direct cost basis.
- How can I copy or inspect records?
You may inspect records at District Offices Monday through Friday, by appointment only, typically from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. You will be provided with an area to inspect the records. The records may be inspected and copied only at the District office.
- What records are exempt from disclosure under the PRA?
Exempt records fall within one of several exemptions in the Public Records Act. Records are commonly made exempt by state law. Examples of these exemptions include preliminary drafts and notes, pending litigation, and an employee's medical files. (See the Public Records Act for a more complete list of exempt records.)
- Whom do I contact if I have any questions about a current PRA request?
Once the PRA Request is received, the District Respondent will contact you to confirm receipt and indicate which District employee is processing the Request. Once that letter is received, you can contact the District Respondent with any questions.
- Does the PRA apply if an agency maintains records for convenience and out of necessity?
Yes. The Act applies to records whether they are required by law to be created and maintained or whether they are a matter of the agency's own discretion and convenience - unless a statute specifically provides that only records required to be kept need be made accessible.
PRA Request Submissions
PRA Requests can be mailed, faxed, or emailed to the following:
California Public Records Act Requests
Office of the General Counsel
Los Angeles Unified School District
333 S. Beaudry Avenue, 24th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
P: (213) 241-6601
F: (213) 241-8444