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Freedom of Information (FOIA)

Forrestville Valley School District #221
Freedom of Information Requests (FOIA)
 

 
What is FOIA?
FOIA is the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.  The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides public access to government documents and records.  Under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140), records in possession of public agencies may be accessed by the public upon written request.  Public records are any records, reports, forms, writing, books, papers, maps, photographs, electronic data processing records, recorded information and all other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, having been prepared,or having been or being used, received, possessed or under the control of any public body.
 
The Act does, however, recognize that in order to enable public bodies to perform certain governmental functions properly and to protect personal privacy, some records and information need to be kept confidential.  Records that are not subject to release via the FOIA process include confidential and trade secret information.
 
How can I submit a FOIA request?
Requests must be submitted in writing and can be:
faxed to: (815) 938-9028
or
mailed to:
Forrestville Valley School District #221
ATTN:  FOIA Officer
601 E. Main Street
P.O. Box 665
Forreston, IL   61030
 
Is there a FOIA Request Form?
Forrestville Valley School District #221 does have a FOIA request form.  When completing a FOIA request form please provide your name, address, and phone number.  While some responses can be provided via e-mail, please provide your mailing address.  Also, provide a brief description of the public records requested, being as specific as possible.  See the FOIA form link attached at the bottom of this page.
 
What happens after I submit a request?
The Illinois Freedom of Information Act requires agencies to respond within five working days of receipt of request.  A five-day extension is allowed with written notification to the requester.
If the requested records are 50 pages, or less, in length, the pages will be copied and mailed to the requestor.  If the records exceed 50 pages, the requester will be informed of the duplication cost.  What are the costs for duplication?  The cost is $ .15 per sheet above fifty sheets.
If you have questions about filing a FOIA request, please contact the Forrestville Valley School District Office at (815) 938-2036 and ask for the FOIA Officer.
 
What are examples of records that may be requested?
Generally the most common requests would be for copies of the following:  Forrestville Valley School District financial records, budget, audit, board policies, collective bargaining agreement, board meeting minutes, etc.  Other records as allowable, may be requested and inspected.
Many generally requested items such as the budget, collective bargaining agreement, and administrative salaries, may be found on the Forrestville Valley District Website under "District"
 
What records are exempt from being requested under FOIA?
Under provisions of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, some of the records described in this list, or certain portions of them, may be exempt from inspection and copying.  Exempt records include: information specifically prohibited from disclosure by federal and state law, minutes from closed session meetings, student files, medical records, student case files, test questions, scoring keys, employee personnel files, employee evaluations, and generally those records that include personally identifiable information about students or staff members.  In addition there are further restrictions for records requested for commercial purposes.  Any request for commercial purposes must be identified as such prior to release.
 
Does the Act require the production of new documents?
As a general principle, public bodies are not required to create new records to respond to requests for information, if the body does not ordinarily maintain the requested information in record form.
 

FEE SCHEDULE FOR DUPLICATION OF PUBLIC RECORDS

Type of Duplication Fee

Paper copy from paper or electronic

source, 50 pages or less

No Charge

Paper copy from paper or electronic

source, each page over 50 pages

$ .15 / page

 

FOIA Request Form

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