June 10 FOIA denial letter

Mellon Administration Center


SCHOQL 703 South New Street Telephone: (217)351-3825

DISTRICT Champaign, Illinois 61820-5818 FAX: (217) 351-3871

June 10, 2013


Mr. Charles Schultz


Re: Freedom of Information Request

Dear Mr. Schultz:

On Friday, April 26, 2013, Champaign Community Unit School District #4 received from you a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request asking for the following:

“[T]he non personally identifiable information data that was sent to Alves and that he sent back to Unit 4 after March 1, 2013.”


On Friday, May 3, 2013, the District provided you with a document responsive to your request. In subsequent correspondence and discussions, you noted that you were requesting additional information including:

“[D]etailed information such as which schools each registrant chose, the points they received for each item filled on the registration, and the reasons (if any) of why they did not receive each choice.”


In our subsequent discussion, I noted that the District was not in possession of any records responsive to that request at that time and that the request would either be denied or that you would agree that your request would be held until such time as the District received responses to your request. You agreed that the District could respond when it received additional documents” that were responsive to your request. You followed up on this request on May 21 and June 3. The District is now in possession of additional documents responsive to your request and they are attached. Other responsive documents are exempt from disclosure under the FOIA since they are student records which are specifically prohibited from disclosure under Federal and State laws. 5 ILCS 140/7(1)(a) and 5 lLCS 140/7.5(r). In addition, such documents are also exempt from disclosure since they are trade secrets or commercial information obtained from a person or business where the trade secrets or commercial information are furnished under a claim that they are proprietary, privileged, or confidential, and disclosure of the trade secrets or commercial information would cause competitive harm to the person or business. 5 ILCS 140/7(1)(g). In addition, such documents are exempt from disclosure under the FOIA since they constitute valuable formulae and research data obtained or produced by any public body when disclosure could reasonably be expected to produce private gain or public loss. 5 ILCS 140/7(1)(i).


To the extent you interpret this response as a denial of your request, you have the right to have the denial reviewed by the Public Access Counselor (PAC) at the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. 5 ILCS 140/9.5(a). You can file your Request for Review with the PAC by writing to Public Access Counselor, Office of the Attorney General, 500 South 2nd Street Springfield, Illinois
62706, Fax: 217-782-1396, E-mail: gublicaccess@atg.state.il.us, Phone: 312-814-5526. If you choose to file a Request for Review with the PAC, you must do so within 60 calendar days after the date of the denial letter. 5 ILCS 140/9.5(a). Please note that you must include a copy of your original request for documents and the denial letter when filing a Request for Review with the PAC.


You also have the right to seek judicial review of your denial by filing a lawsuit in the State circuit court. 5 ILCS 140/S11.


Thomas Lockman

School Attorney/Freedom of information Officer

Better Schools Build Better Communities


2 Responses to “June 10 FOIA denial letter”

  1. Karen Says:

    Are the taxpayers privy to how various social measures are ‘weighted’ in determining school ‘choice’ assignment? A ‘classified’ system isn’t something I wish to pay for. I wonder if the Center For Individual Rights might be able to direct (not help, per se) you in some way.

  2. charlesdschultz Says:

    For the most part, no, the school district uses really vague terms like ‘education attainment of parents’ and ‘family income level’, but there are no weights specified at all.

    When Dr. Alves was here a few years ago, I asked him for the weights. In a grandiose way, he told me to email him and he would send them to me. I emailed him. And nothing happened after that. I got nothing.

    Over the course of the past few years of collecting the lottery data, I have pretty much reversed-engineered his formula. I cannot say for certainty that I know it because there are outliers in the data which are hard to explain. But I can at least form a semi-accurate picture.

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