The News and Observer recently asked the School Board for copies of its e-mails – under the state’s public records law – about student reassignments to different schools. (This year 9300 students are being reassigned.) This is a routine request newspapers often make to government agencies and, initially, it was expected it would only take the School Board a few days to comply.
Instead, it took fifteen weeks and cost $17,000 for the School Board to provide The News and Observer with 219 e-mail messages. An average cost of $77 per e-mail. (You can read the story in The News and Observer: “E-mail search a huge chore for Wake schools;” 7-05-06.)
This fall, the School Board is asking voters to approve the biggest school bond ever in Wake County. But you have to wonder how voters are going to feel about paying higher property taxes to give someone who spends $17,000 to produce 219 e-mails – another billion dollars.
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