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***Post written by WSPA Member***
Public Records Request
According to a Memorandum released by State Superintendent Jillian Balow dated December 2, 2019, State Senator Tom James from District 13, Sweetwater County, has requested the Department of Education release names, salaries and job titles of educational employees from all districts within the state. Although Wyoming state statute 16-4-203 does indicate employment contracts and documents that outline terms and conditions of employment are public records, the statue does not indicate that names accompany documents. Specifically, 16-4-203 d (iii) defines personnel files like applications, performance ratings, and scholastic achievement data and states these files are only available for inspection by supervisors and are not open for public record. The request put forth by Senator James does pose the question as to the nature of the use of names tied to employment agreements. In addition, the information provided to school districts as outlined in the memorandum does not include a justification by Senator James for the request for the information. Senator James is listed as a member of the Management Audit Committee, The Travel, Recreation, Wildlife & Cultural Resources, NCSL-Budgets and Revenue, NCSL- Labor & Economic Development, NCSL-Military, and Veterans Affairs Task Force and CSG West-Economic Development and Chairman of the Senate Journal. The data regarding educational job titles, salaries and names of educators within the state of Wyoming does not appear to be driven by participation on educational based committee membership. What is the purpose of obtaining the personal information of the 1000s of dedicated educational professionals within the state of Wyoming that has been requested from the Department of Education and how will this information be used? Educators within the state are seeking answers.