Investigate Your Teacher Using Public Records | News

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Investigate Your Teacher Using Public Records
News

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The law is long and complicated, but you are able to investigate your child's teacher this year.

Public school teacher records are called "education personnel records" in the Florida Sunshine public records laws. The first line of guidance in the state manual reads, "In the absence of statutory exemption, personnel records of educators are subject to public inspection."

The incidents make headlines: a teacher choking a student or having a sexual relationship with one. Or maybe your child's teacher has awesome reviews and no marks in their personnel file. Wouldn't it be nice to check it out?

One of those incidents is recapped here.

The laws is long and provides for some exemptions. You can read the entire portion here.

For example, complaints and entire personnel files that are part of an active investigation are exempt until the investigation is complete.

Also, teacher evaluations are confidential until the end of the school year immediately following the school year during which the evaluation was made. For example, if you want the most recent evaluation for a teacher, the one you could get now would be for the 2009-2010 school year. The evaluation from the 2010-2011 school year can't legally be released until next fall.

Employee payroll deductions and medical records are confidential and exempt from release. Anonymous letters are prohibited from being placed in the teacher's personnel file.

In Duval County, you need to contact the main district office's Human Resources department at 390-2066.

Below is a list of other local district HR contacts or the district number:

Nassau: 904-491-9900

Baker: 904-259-0401

Columbia: 386-755-8000

Union: 386-496-2045

Bradford: 904-966-6018

Putnam: 386-329-0549

St. Johns: 904-547-7500

Clay: 904-284-6500

Laws in Georgia vary a bit, but generally there should be some records available to the public.

Camden: 912-729-5687

Charlton: 912-496-2596

Brantley: 912-462-6176

Glynn: 912-267-4100

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