Public Information Act
For more information: Attorney General Website
Arlington Classics Academy recognizes that Texas law gives the public the right to access certain government records that are otherwise not exempted from disclosure, and that the law contains guidelines for the timeframe in which we must respond to requests for information.
Please understand that, due to the current federal and state emergency declarations related to COVID-19 (the Coronavirus), our school’s normal school operations have been suspended and we are currently operating with a skeleton crew. Moreover, on March 19, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott signed an order closing all schools throughout the State of Texas beginning at 11:59 pm on March 20, 2020, and continuing through at least 11:59 pm on June 1, 2020.
The Attorney General recognizes that days when public bodies are closed and skeleton crew days are not counted as business days for the purposes of calculating response deadlines under the Texas Public Information Act. For these reasons, we currently are not processing open record requests. We will resume processing requests within the timeframe required by state law once school reopens and we have more than a skeleton crew available at our school facilities.
Making a Public Information Act Request
In person, postal mail, or email
Please present your written request to:
c/o Craig Sims, Arlington Classics Academy, 5206 South Bowen Road, Arlington, Texas 76017
ACA Legal Policy 500.40 Texas Public Information Act
- Applicability and Availability
- The boards of both an open-enrollment charter holder and an open-enrollment charter school are considered governmental bodies for purposes of the Texas Public Information Act, Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code (“PIA”).
- Any requirement in the PIA, or another law that concerns the availability of information that applies to a school district, the board of trustees of a school district, or public school students applies to an open-enrollment charter school, the boards
of both a charter holder and charter school, or students attending an open-enrollment charter school.
- Public information is available to the public at a minimum during the normal business hours of the
Tex. Educ. Code §12.1051; Tex. Gov’t Code §552.021.
B. Categories of Public Information
The following categories of information are public information and not exempt from required disclosure unless they are confidential under another law. This is not an exhaustive list:
- A complete report, audit, evaluation, or investigation made of, for, or by the school, except certain law enforcement and prosecutorial information as provided by Gov’t Code §552.108;
- The name, sex, ethnicity, salary, title, and dates of employment of each employee and officer of the school;
- Information in an account, voucher, or contract relating to the receipt or expenditure of public or other funds;
- The name of each official and the final record of voting on all proceedings of the school’s board;
- All working papers, research material, and information used to estimate the need for or expenditure of public funds by the school, on completion of the estimate;
- A description of the school’s organization and where, from whom, and how the public may obtain information, submit information or requests, and obtain decisions;
- A statement of the general course and method by which the school functions are channeled and determined, including the nature and requirements of all formal and informal policies and procedures;
- Any electronic communication created, transmitted, received, or maintained on any device if the communication is in connection with the transaction of the official
business of the school, including an electronic communication in
the form of an e-mail, Internet posting, text message, instant message, or other electronic communication.
- Information that is written, produced, collected, assembled, or maintained (including electronic communications described above) by an individual officer or employee of the school in the officer’s or employee’s official capacity and the information pertains to official business of the
- Information the board of the school has a right of access to or the board spends or contributes public money for the purpose of writing, producing, collecting, assembling or maintaining the
- A rule of procedure, a description of forms available or the places at which forms may be obtained, and instructions relating to the scope and content of all papers, reports, or examinations;
- All final opinions and orders issued in the adjudication of cases;
- A policy statement or interpretation adopted or issued by the school;
- Administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public;
- Information regarded as open to the public under an agency’s policies;
- Information that is in a bill for attorney’s fees and that is not privileged under the attorney-client privilege;
- Information that is also contained in a public court record; and
- A settlement agreement to which a school is a
C. Information Exempted from Disclosure
- Confidential by Law
Information considered confidential by other law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision is exempted from disclosure.
- Military personnel information is confidential, including but not limited to name, rank, awards, and
Tex. Gov’t Code § 437.232; 84th Leg., R.S. HB 2152
- Confidentiality of Personal Information
- Each current or former employee or official of the school shall choose whether to allow public access to the information in the school’s custody that relates to the person’s home address, home telephone number, emergency contact information, or social security number, or that reveals whether the person has family
- Each current and former employee and official shall state that person’s choice as to disclosure to the main personnel officer of the school in a signed writing not later than the 14th day after the date on which:
- The employee begins employment with the school;
- The official is elected or appointed; or
- The former employee or official ends services with the
- If the employee, official, or former employee or official fails to specify his or her choice, the information is subject to public access. However, the employee or official may open or close public access to the information at any time by making a written request to the main personnel
- Educational Records
The PIA does not require the release of information contained in education records. Education records may only be released in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Personal information considered confidential may be redacted prior to releasing information under the PIA without requesting an Attorney General’s opinion.
Tex. Gov’t Code §552.026 and 552.114. 84th Leg., R.S. HB 4046
- Personnel Files
Information in a personnel file, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, is exempted from disclosure. This includes transcripts from an institution of higher education maintained in the personnel file.
However, information regarding the degree obtained or the curriculum on a transcript is not exempted from disclosure.
- Current or Pending Litigation
Information is exempted from disclosure if it relates to litigation to which the school is or may be a party, or to which an officer or employee of the school, as a consequence of the person’s office or employment, is or may be a party. The exemption applies only if the litigation is pending or reasonably anticipated at the time the school’s public
information officer receives the public information request.
- Competition or Bidding
Information that, if released, would give advantage to a competitor or bidder is exempt from disclosure.
- Real or Personal Property
Information is exempted from public disclosure that relates to the location of real or personal property for a public purpose prior to the public announcement of the project. Also, information related to appraisals or purchase price of real or personal property for a public purpose prior to the formal award of contracts for the property is exempted from disclosure.
- Certain Legal Matters
Information that the school’s attorney is prohibited from disclosing because of a duty to the school under the Texas Rules of Civil Evidence, the Texas Rules of Criminal Evidence, or the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, or information prohibited from public disclosure by a court order;
- Trade Secrets; Certain Commercial or Financial Information
A trade secret obtained from a person and privileged or confidential by statute
or judicial decision and commercial or financial information for which it is demonstrated based on specific factual evidence that disclosure would cause substantial
competitive harm to the person from whom the information was obtained is exempted from disclosure.
Memoranda or letters that would not be available by law to a party in litigation with the school is exempted from disclosure.
- Student Records
Information from a student record is exempted from disclosure unless it is requested by:
- Educational institution personnel;
- The student involved or the student’s parent, legal guardian, or spouse; or
- A person conducting a child abuse investigation required by the Texas Family
- Audit Working Papers
Certain audit working papers are exempted from disclosure.
- Test Items
A test item developed by a school is exempted from disclosure.
- Library Records
A record of the school library that identifies or serves to identify a person who requested, obtained, or used a library material or service unless the record is disclosed because:
- The library determines that disclosure is reasonably necessary for the operation of the library and the record is not confidential under another law; or
- Other law requires the disclosure of the
- Name of Applicant for Superintendent
The name of an applicant for the position of superintendent is exempted from disclosure, except that the board must give public notice of the name or names of the finalists being considered for the position at least 21 days before the date of the
meeting at which a final action or vote is to be taken on the employment of the person.
- Certain Motor Vehicle Records
Information described by this section may be released only if, and in the manner, authorized by Chapter 730, Transportation Code.
- Information relating to a motor vehicle operator’s or driver’s license or permit issued by an agency of Texas or another state or country;
- A motor vehicle title or registration issued by an agency of Texas or another state or county; or
- a personal identification document issued by an agency of Texas or another state or country or a local agency authorized to issue an identification document.
Tex. Gov’t Code §552.130(a)-(b).
- The Informer’s Privilege: Certain Information Held by a School
- A student/former student or an employee/former employee who has furnished a report of another person’s possible violation of criminal, civil, or regulatory law to the school or the proper regulatory enforcement authority may have information that would reveal his or her identity exempted from
- Credit Card, Debit Card, and Access Device Numbers
- A credit card, debit card, charge card, or access device number that is collected, assembled, or maintained by or for a charter holder/school is
- Certain E-Mail Addresses
- With some exceptions, an email address of a member of the public that is provided for the purpose of communicating electronically with the charter holder/ school is
- Information Related to Security or Infrastructure Issues for Computers
- Information is confidential if it is information that relates to computer network security, or to the design, operation, or defense of a computer
- Information may be disclosed to a bidder if the charter holder/school determines that providing the information is necessary for the bidder to provide an accurate
- Certain Investments
- Certain charter holder/school investment information is not public information and is exempted from
- Social Security Numbers
- The social security number of a living person is exempted from disclosure, but the social security number is not
- A charter holder/school may redact the social security number of a living person from any information the charter holder/school publicly discloses without the
necessity of requesting a decision from the attorney general’s office.
- The social security number of an employee of an open-enrollment charter school in the custody of the open-enrollment charter school is
- A school may not require an employee or former employee of the open-enrollment charter school to choose whether to allow public access to the employee’s or former employee’s social security
Tex. Gov’t Code §552.024
- Public Employee or Officer Personal Safety
- Information in the custody of the charter holder/school that relates to an employee or officer of the school is exempted from disclosure if, under the specific circumstances pertaining to the employee or officer, disclosure of the information would subject the employee or officer to a substantial threat of physical
D. Officer for Public Information
- The chief administrative officer is the officer for public information and each department head is an agent of the officer for public information purposes of complying with the
- An officer for public information is responsible for the release of public information in compliance with the
Tex. Gov’t Code §§552.201 - .202; §552.204.
- General Duties for the Officer for Public Information:
- Make public information available for public inspection and copying;
- Carefully protect public information from deterioration, alteration, mutilation, loss, or unlawful removal;
- Repair, renovate, or rebind public information as necessary to maintain it properly; and
- Prominently display a sign that contains information about the rights of a requestor, the responsibilities of a charter holder/school, and the procedures for inspecting or obtaining a copy of public
- The sign shall be displayed at one or more places in the administrative offices of the charter holder/school where it is plainly visible to:
- Members of the public who request public information; and
- Employees of the charter holder/school whose duties include receiving or responding to public information
Tex. Gov’t Code §552.203, §552.205.
E. Procedures Related to Access
It shall be a policy of a charter holder/school to provide a suitable copy of public information within a reasonable time after the date on which the copy is requested.
- Promulgation of Rules
A charter holder/school may promulgate reasonable rules of procedure under which public information may be inspected and copied efficiently, safely, and without delay. Rules promulgated cannot be inconsistent with PIA.
- Prompt Production of Public Information
An officer for public information shall promptly produce public information for inspection, duplication, or both on application by any person to the officer. Promptly is defined by PIA as “as soon as possible under the circumstances, that is, within a reasonable time, without delay.” If an officer cannot produce public information for inspection or duplication within 10 business days after the date the information is requested, the officer shall certify that fact in writing to the requestor and set a date and hour within a reasonable time when the information will be available.
An officer of public information complies with PIA when referring a requestor to the open-enrollment charter school’s website if the information is identifiable and accessible.
Tex. Gov’t Code §552.221; 84th Leg., R.S. HB 685
- Permissible Inquiry by Charter Holder/School
Neither the officer for public information or the officer’s agent may make an inquiry of a requestor except:
- To establish proper identification;
- To clarify the request if it is unclear; or
- If a large amount of information has been requested, the charter holder/school may discuss with the requestor how the scope of the request might be
- Uniform Treatment of Requests
All requests for information shall be treated uniformly without regard to the position or occupation of the requestor, the person on whose behalf the request is made, or the status of the individual as a member of the media. The officer for public information or the agent shall give to a requestor all reasonable comfort and facility for the full exercise of the rights granted under the PIA.
Tex. Gov’t Code §552.223 - .224.
- Requests that Require Manipulation or Programming of Data
- A charter holder/school must provide a written statement to a requestor if the charter holder/school determines:
- That responding to a request for public information will require programming or manipulation of data; and that
- Compliance with the request is not feasible or will result in substantial interference with operations; or
- The information could be made available in the requested form only at a cost that covers the programming and manipulation of
- The written statement must include:
- A statement that the information is not available in the requested form;
- A description of the form in which the information is available;
- A description of any contract or services that would be required to provide the information in the requested form;
- A statement of the estimated cost of providing the information in the requested
- The written statement shall be provided to the requestor within 20 days after the date of the charter holder/school’s receipt of request. The charter holder/school has an additional 10 days to provide the statement if the charter holder/school gives written notice to the requestor, within 20 days after the date of receipt of the request, that the additional time is
- Once the written statement is provided, the charter holder/school does not have any further obligation unless within 30 days the requestor states in writing to the charter holder/school that the requestor:
- Wants the charter holder/school to provide the information in the requested form according to the cost and time parameters set out in the written statement or according to other terms to which the requestor and the charter holder/ school agree; or
- Wants the information in the form in which it is
- If a requestor does not timely respond to the written statement, the requestor is considered to have withdrawn the request for
- The officer for public information shall establish policies that assure the expeditious and accurate processing of requests for information that require programming or manipulation of
- A charter holder/school shall maintain a file containing all written statements issued under this section in a readily accessible
F. Withdrawal of Email Requests
A charter holder/school may consider an email request withdrawn if the charter holder/school responds to the same email address used in the original request or to an alternate email address provided by the requestor and the charter holder/school does not receive a response by the 61st day, the request is considered withdrawn.
Tex. Gov’t Code §552.222; 84th Leg., R.S. HB 2134
G. Repetitious Requests
A charter holder/school that determines that a requestor has made a request for information for which the charter holder/school has previously furnished or made copies available to the requestor, the charter holder/school may either:
- Furnish the information again in accordance with the request; or
- Shall certify to the requester that the information was previously furnished. The certification must include:
- A description of the information for which copies had been furnished or made available;
- The date the charter holder/school received the requestor’s original request for that information;
- The date that the charter holder/school previously furnished or made available copies of the information to the requestor;
- A certification that no subsequent additions, deletions, or corrections have been
made to that information; and
- The name, title, and signature of the officer for public information or the officer’s agent making the
H. Charges for Providing Copies of Public Information
- Charges for providing a copy of public information shall be an amount that reasonably includes all costs related to reproducing the public information, including costs of materials, labor, and overhead. If a request is 50 or fewer pages, the costs shall be limited to the charge for each page of the paper that is photocopied, unless to the pages to be photocopied are located in:
- Two or more buildings that are not physically connected to each other; or
- A remote storage
- Charges That Include Cost of Labor
If a charge for providing a copy of public information includes costs of labor, the requestor may require the officer for public information of the officer’s agent to provide the requestor with a written statement as to the amount of time that was required to produce and provide the copy.
- The statement must be signed by the officer for public information or the officer’s agent and the officer’s or the agent’s name must be typed or legibly printed below the
- A charge may not be imposed for providing this written statement to the
- Charges in Excess of $40
If charges will exceed $40 the charter holder/school shall provide the requestor with a written itemized statement that details all estimated charges that will be imposed, including any allowable charges for labor or personnel costs. If there is an alternative less costly, the statement must include a notice that the requestor may contact the charter holder/school regarding the alternative method.
- A charter school that receives a request to produce public information for inspection or publication or to produce copies of public information in response to a requestor who, within the preceding 180 days, has accepted but failed to pay written itemized statements of estimated charges from the charter school may require the requestor to pay the estimated charges for the request before the request is
Tex. Gov’t Code §§552.261 - .2615.
I. Attorney General Decision
- Requesting an Attorney General Decision
- Within ten days of receiving a request, if a charter holder/school wishes to withhold information from public disclosure it must ask for a decision from the Attorney General about whether the information is exempted from disclosure. The written statement should state that the charter holder/school considers the information to fall within one of the information categories exempted from
- Notice to Requestor
- If the charter holder/school requests a decision from the Attorney General it must notify the requestor in writing, within ten days of receiving the request, that it wishes to withhold the requested information and has asked for a decision from the Attorney General. A copy of the written communication to the Attorney General, or a redacted version if it discloses the requested information, must accompany
- Submitting Supportive Materials
- Within 15 days after receiving the request for information, the charter holder/school must submit to the Attorney General:
- written comments stating why the stated exemptions apply;
- These must also be sent to the requestor but must be redacted if they contain the requested
- A copy of the written request for information;
- A signed statement as to the date when the request for information was received by the charter holder/school or evidence sufficient to establish that date; and
- A copy of the specific information requested, or samples of the information if it is
- Presumption that Information is Public
- If the charter holder/school does not request an Attorney General decision in compliance with PIA and provide the requestor with the required information, the information requested is presumed subject to public disclosure unless there is a compelling reason to withhold the
Tex. Gov’t Code §§552.301 - .302.
J. Criminal Violations
- Destruction, Removal, or Alteration of Public Information
A person commits a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a fine of $25 - $4000 and/or confinement in county jail for three days – 3 months, if the person willfully
destroys, mutilates, removes without permission as provided by the PIA, or alters public information.
- Distribution or Misuse of Confidential Information
A person commits a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a fine not more than $1000 and/or confinement in county jail for not more than six months, if the person distributes or misuses information considered confidential under the PIA.
- Failure or Refusal of Officer for Public Information to Provide Access
An officer for public information, or the officer’s agent, commits a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a fine of not more than $1000 and/or confinement in county jail for not more than six months, if, with criminal negligence, the officer or agent fails or refuses to give access to public information to a requestor.ACA Local Policy 500.40 Texas Public Information Act
ACA Local Policy 500.040 TEXAS PUBLIC INFORMATION ACTPublic Information Officer
Date Issued: 4/2/17
The governing body (“Board”) of Arlington Classics Academy adopts the following policy which shall be effective on the date that the policy is adopted by the Board.
Arlington Classics Academy shall comply with the Texas Public Information Act (PIA) and it shall be the policy of Arlington Classics Academy to provide a suitable copy of public information within a reasonable time after the date on which the copy is requested.
2. Officer for Public Information
The Board designates the Executive Director of Schools (EDS) as the Officer for Public Information. Each department head is an agent of the officer for public information for purposes of complying with the PIA. The Officer for Public Information is responsible for the release of public information in compliance with the PIA.
The duty of the Officer for Public Information is to ensure compliance with the PIA.
C. Sign Display
In accordance with the PIA, the Officer for Public Information shall prominently display a sign(s) regarding rights, responsibilities, and procedures under the PIA. Such signs may be found on the Attorney General of Texas’ website:
3. Charges for Public Information
The Officer for Public Information may charge requestors for public information as permitted by the PIA.All requests must be submitted in writing and should contain your name, address, phone number, fax number, and a clear description of the information and/or document requested.
The request must ask for records or information already in existence. The Public Information Act does not require the district to create new information, to do legal research, or to answer questions.
500.040. TEXAS PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT
The governing body (“Board of Directors”) of ARLINGTON CLASSICS ACADEMY adopts the following policy which shall be effective on the date that the policy is adopted by the Board of Directors.
SECTION 1. Compliance
ARLINGTON CLASSICS ACADEMY shall comply with the Texas Public Information Act (PIA) and it shall be the policy of ARLINGTON CLASSICS ACADEMY to provide a suitable copy of public information within a reasonable time after the date on which the copy is requested.
SECTION 2. Officer for Public Information
Section 2.1. Designation. The Board designates the Executive Director of Schools as the Officer for Public Information. Each department head is an agent of the officer for public information for purposes of complying with the PIA. The Officer for Public Information is responsible for the release of public information in compliance with the PIA.
Section 2.2. Duties. The duty of the Officer for Public Information is to ensure compliance
with the PIA.
Section 2.3. Sign Display. In accordance with the PIA, the Officer for Public Information shall prominently display a sign(s) regarding rights, responsibilities, and procedures under the PIA. Such signs may be found on the Attorney General of Texas’ website:
https://www.oag.state.tx.us/open/pia/piasign120110.pdf https://www.oag.state.tx.us/open/pia/piasign120110_span.pdf SECTION 3. Charges for Public Information
The Officer for Public Information may charge requestors for public information as permitted by
SECTION 4. Electronic Communications Policy
Section 4.1. Electronic Communications as Public Information. Absent any applicable exception established under Texas law, electronic communications that pertain to official business of the school that are created by, transmitted to, received by, or maintained by a board member, officer, or employee of the school, are presumed to be public information under the Public Information Act, regardless of whether the device used to create, transmit, maintain or receive the electronic communication is a personal electronic communication device or an electronic device provided by the school to the board member, officer or employee to use in his or her official capacity, and regardless of the form of the electronic communication. Electronic communications in the form of e-mail, Internet postings, text messages, and instant message pertaining to official business of the school are considered Public Information under Texas law and under this Policy. Nothing in this Policy waives any applicable exception to disclosure under the Public Information Act of such electronic communications.
Section 4.2 School Accounts. Only school email accounts should be used to create, transmit
or receive school business. If a board member, officer or employee conducts school business
on a non-school account, he or she shall promptly forward the electronic communication to his or her school email account.
All electronic communications pertaining to official business of the school shall be maintained and disposed of in accordance with the Records Management Policy of the school.
- Applicability and Availability