MSDE Public Information Act
A public record is defined as the original or copy of any documentary material in any form, to include written materials, books, photographs, photocopies, films, microfilms, records, tapes, computerized records, maps and drawings created or received by the Department in connection with the transaction of public business.
Anyone — citizens, corporations, associations, public interest groups, private individuals, and universities — can submit PIA requests with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).
The PIA provides for access to most Department records. Certain records are privileged by law or exempt from disclosure and must be withheld. Examples include, but are not limited to, records containing attorney-client advice and attorney work product, student records, medical records, or personnel records.
Other records may be withheld. Examples include, but are not limited to, investigatory records and inter- and intra-agency memoranda and letters. If a requester is denied access to any MSDE Records, he or she will be notified as to the specific statutory provisions for each exemption and for challenging the denial procedures.
The requester also will be notified if files have been lost or destroyed in accordance with MSDE filing and retention schedules.
Requests for a fee waiver or reduction in fees should be submitted in writing to the Department. The Department may grant a fee waiver if the Department determines that a fee waiver is in the best interest of the public. Decisions to waive or reduce fees are made on a case-by-case basis.
The PIA can be found in §§ 4-101 to 4-601 of the General Provisions Article, which is an article within the Maryland Annotated Code. The Maryland Annotated Code is available at local public libraries.
More information on the Maryland Public Information Act can be found on the Maryland Attorney General’s website:
200 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-2595
410-767-0100 • 1-888-246-0016
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