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Public Records Requests

As a public agency, Eugene School District 4J is committed to its obligation to make records available to the public, as required by state law (Chapter 192 of the Oregon Revised Statutes). The district will make available any public record unless it is exempt from public disclosure under state or federal law. Please read the information below to learn more about making a request.

If you are seeking student records or transcripts, do not use the public records request process. Click here to find out how to request student records.


Making a Request

Public records requests should be in writing and submitted to the public records office. 4J has prepared an electronically-submitted request form that you may use, but it is not required. Please be as specific as possible and if you are unsure what records exist, feel free to call or email to discuss the questions you are trying to answer. If you choose not to use the electronic request form, please be sure to include the following information:

  1. Name and contact information: email address, phone number and mailing address
  2. Date of request
  3. Detailed description of the records being requested
  4. Preferred format for receiving the record (paper copy, electronic or onsite inspection)

Submitting the Request

Public records requests can be submitted in 3 ways:

  1. Via electronic form submission: click here to access the form
  2. Via email: send to publicrecords@4j.lane.edu
  3. Via US mail: send to Superintendent’s Office – Attention Public Records, 200 North Monroe St., Eugene, OR 97402

Processing Time

Most requests are completed within fifteen (15) business days of receiving the request, or sooner. If the request cannot be completed within fifteen (15) business days, the district will provide a written statement with a reasonable updated time estimate for completion.

Questions

If you have questions about public records requests, you may contact the public records office at (541)790-7634 or publicrecords@4j.lane.edu.


Fees

As permitted by law, the district charges for its actual costs in making records available. Costs are based on staff time (hourly rate plus benefits) and on a per-page basis for photocopies. Because 4J tries to provide the public with records at no cost when possible, it will waive the fee for requests that can be fulfilled within 30 minutes or less of staff time. As to any other records, we will provide you with an estimate of the total costs and require pre-payment of the fee prior to beginning work. You will never be billed more than our actual costs in producing records. If we have overestimated our costs in a particular case, you will be refunded the difference between our actual cost and any prepayment made.

Fee Reductions or Waivers

The district may reduce or waive fees when fulfilling requests that are in the public interest and primarily benefit the general public. If you would like to apply for a fee reduction or waiver, please provide a statement that conveys how your request meets this requirement and thus justifies redirecting the public’s resources away from the district’s primary mission of education to absorb the cost of your request. In order to conserve district resources, while still making records publicly available, the district will not generally grant more than six fee reductions or waivers per year to the same requestor. 


FAQs

What is a “public record”?

A “public record” is broadly defined to include writings that contain information relating to the conduct of the public’s business, including handwritten, typed, photographed, electronic, or otherwise recorded words, letters, pictures, sounds, symbols, or combinations of any of these. Despite this broad definition, not all public records are available for inspection through Public Records Law. Many state and federal laws either prohibit public bodies from disclosing certain records, or give public bodies the discretion not to disclose. Some records, such as district policies and public meeting information, can be searched and located online. Others must be located by a specific department or school to ensure that exempt public records are not disclosed.

Who can make a public records request?

Any person, whether representing themselves or any other organization, has a right to request and review any public record of an Oregon public body if that record is not exempt from disclosure.

What records are exempt from disclosure?

Some public records are exempt from disclosure, depending on the nature of the record. The reasons for exemption vary but are always provided by either state or federal law, and are often related to protecting personal information of students, employees, or other individuals. Where permitted by law, some public records containing both exempt and non-exempt material may be separated or redacted and the nonexempt material made available. 

What do the fees cover?

Oregon law allows the district to charge fees to cover the actual cost of making public records available. Fees are based on the amount of staff time involved, a per-page fee for photocopies, and any mailing or delivery charges. Staff time may include locating, gathering, reviewing, summarizing, compiling, copying, monitoring (if a request is made to inspect records on-site), tailoring and redacting the public records.

How long will it take?

Most requests can be completed in a matter of days, but complex requests can take several weeks or in some limited circumstances even longer. If it will take longer than fifteen (15) working days to complete your request and provide records, we will tell you and you will receive regular updates. Please note that district records are highly decentralized which can add more time to the process of gathering documents if they are from multiple sites.  

What can I do if I’m not satisfied with the response?

If you do not feel like the records you received are what you were looking for, the simplest option is to submit another request. Sometimes changing a date range or key words will make a significant difference. If you have questions or need clarification at any point, you may call the public records office at (541)790-7634.

If your request was denied in whole or in part, or if your request for a fee reduction was denied, you may seek review to the extent provided under ORS 192.407 to ORS 192.431.


Resources

4J Board Policy KBA on Public Records

4J  Public Records Request Form

Oregon Public Records Law