The Journal Gazette
Thursday, March 19, 2020 1:00 am

Journal entry

Getting schooled on public access

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

The Huntington County Community Schools superintendent resigned last spring with no explanation, prompting speculation.

To help fill in the gaps, The Journal Gazette submitted a public records request to the district. Specifically, we sought copies of the superintendent's most recent contract, separation agreement and resignation letter.

You never know what such documents might contain.

In this case, not much.

But these additional details – that the school board president wrote the superintendent a letter of recommendation and the superintendent was complimentary toward the district and broader community – reinforced the board president's assertion that the split was mutual.

For readers hoping a public records request can shed light on Fort Wayne Community Schools' superintendent search, you're out of luck.

Public employees' personnel files – as well as applicants' files – are generally shielded from public view.

And there's no hope in trying to learn about superintendent candidates as the school board discusses them.

State law allows the board to meet in executive session – that is, behind closed doors – to get information about and interview prospective employees.


Ashley Sloboda is education reporter for The Journal Gazette.

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