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The next meeting of the Lackawanna Trail School Board
will be on
Monday, October 3 @ 7:30pm
The mission of this website is to be
a central relay station to ease research.
It works in partnership with the community to collect and provide as much information as is publicly available for all to share. This site
is responsive to your needs. Just become a Facebook friend by clicking at the bottom of this page and then provide information to be
shared, and make requests for information you would like to see. All reasonable attempts will be made to accommodate your requests
and to verify information that will be subject to strict standards of speech and decency. This will remain a kids-safe site. Where
information is known to be outdated, it will be marked and kept for
historical research, not deleted. This site hopes to inform and serve all members of the community.
Security: NO information about the visitor is ever requested, gathered, stored, or distributed in any way.
The Official District Hotline is (570) 945-5186
Have fun with this dictionary
for an appreciation of
And, if you prefer, here is an instructional video in Heynabonics.
RIGHT TO KNOW LAW
To submit a request for public documents please contact the
Open Records Officer, Mr. Keith Glynn - Business Manager, at 945-5184
or by email at email@example.com. For more information, please click Link
to PA Open Records Office. Or you can print and send in
a Right-to-Know request form.
What does it cost? [Fee schedule here].
Q: I filed a RTKL request with a local school district, seeking access to all settlement agreements that
involve students that were entered into last year. The school district denied access, citing confidentiality clauses and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy
Act (FERPA), arguing that settlements are not public because they are educational records. Can they do that?
The public's right to access settlement agreements involving public agencies is well settled, and
the school district cannot rely on confidentiality clauses contained in a settlement agreement
or FERPA to deny public access, although FERPA may require the school to redact certain student-specific identification information.
Pennsylvania appellate courts have consistently held that confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements involving public agencies are not enforceable,
and settlement agreements are public under both the former, more restrictive RTKL, as well as the revised RTKL. See Morning Call, Inc.
v. Lower Saucon Township, 627 A.2d 297 (Pa.Cmwlth. 1993);Tribune-Review Publishing Company v. Westmoreland County Housing Authority,
574 Pa. 661, 833 A.2d 112 (Pa. 2003); Newspaper Holdings, Inc. v. New Castle Area School District, 911 A.2d 644 (Pa.Cmwlth.2006),
appeal denied, 592 Pa. 776, 926 A.2d 443 (2007). The New Castle News case is noteworthy because the court ordered the school district
to pay the newspaper's legal fees after the school district unreasonably denied access to an executed settlement agreement.
It is not uncommon for settlement agreements to include a confidentiality clause,
but these clauses are not enforceable under Pennsylvania law when a public agency is a party to the settlement.
In other words, agencies cannot contract away the public's right to know.
The Office of Open Records (OOR) has also addressed public access to settlements involving schools and students citing the cases above,
and has routinely held that the RTKL requires public access once the records have been de-identified in accordance with FERPA.
See e.g., Andren v. West Shore School District, OOR Dkt. AP 2009-1084. FERPA regulations prohibit the release of student-specific
educational records without permission, and the OOR considers certain information in settlement agreements to be subject to redaction
when they contain student-specific information such as IEP plans, grades, and disciplinary information.
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