Under the Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. §50-18-70 et seq.), all public records are available for inspection and copying unless they are specifically exempted from disclosure under the law. It is the Richmond County Board of Education's policy to comply with the Georgia Open Records Act.
Georgia governmental entities have three (3) business days from receipt of an open records request to issue a reply. The Georgia Open Records Act does not require governmental entities to answer questions, conduct research or compile information. Open records requests should seek the inspection of existing records.
The Richmond County School System uses an online portal to receive, process and respond to Open Records Requests. Requests should be submitted at the following link:
The School System will provide information relating to the request, as permissible and applicable by law, within three (3) business days after it has been received by the Open Records Custodian. Some records are not readily accessible. In those instances when production of the information is not possible within that timeframe, the Open Records Custodian will issue correspondence with an explanation. If the Open Records Custodian withholds a public document or redacts certain information from production under an Open Records Request, the provision of Georgia law that exempts the record from being produced will be cited.
Georgia Law (O.C.G.A. §50-18-72(a)(37)) specifically excludes from public disclosure those records that would not be subject to disclosure, or the disclosure of which would jeopardize the receipt of federal funds, under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) prohibits a school district from releasing personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing unless the district has an opt-out provision. The Richmond County School System does not.
Note: Requests for STUDENT RECORDS should not be submitted through the Open Records Request process. Instead, please access the following link: STUDENT RECORDS AND TRANSCRIPT REQUESTS LINK https://www.rcboe.org/Page/36498
In order to protect the confidentiality rights of all employees, no record or document shall be released with information that would not be construed to be an Open Record pursuant to O.C.G.A. §50-18-70 et seq. Certain personal information shall not be disclosed unless written consent of the subject employee is provided, including the following: home mailing and email address, home telephone number, personal cellular number, social security number, insurance or medical information, mother’s birth name, birth date, credit card or debit card numbers, bank account information, financial data or information, confidential job performance evaluations, and reference checks of employees. When responding to requests for information, the above items, as well as any other items required by law, shall be redacted from the materials provided.
For all other legal related matters and requests such as subpoenas, Notices to Produce, or Requests for Production of Documents, please contact Policy and Legal Compliance Officer Kim Fletcher Bowden at firstname.lastname@example.org or (706) 826-1000, ext. 5420.
Fees and Charges:
In responding to any person requesting records under the Open Records Act, reasonable charges authorized by the Act for the search, retrieval, redaction, and copying of the records responsive to the request may be requested.
The work shall be done in the location specified by the custodian. Charges for making photographs or reproductions of the records or documents will be calculated at ten cents (.10) per standard page (e.g., letter sized documents). Other types of documents or electronic media are charged based upon the School System’s expense to reproduce the record. In addition, a reasonable charge may be collected for search, retrieval, and other direct administrative costs for complying with a request and provided to the requestor prior to the start of said work, along with an estimated timeframe for the completion of the work. The School System may charge a per-hour charge for the employee supervising the review of records; the hourly charge shall not exceed the salary of the lowest paid full-time employe who, in the discretion of the custodian of records, has the necessary skill and training to perform the request. There shall be no charge for the first quarter-hour of work.
Once an estimate has been provided, the requestor will have ten (10) days to approve the estimate. Failure to do so within the specified time limit will result in the request being null and void. All charges for an Open Records Act request shall be paid by check or money order and is required upon receipt of the records.
Due to the time constraints, all employees of the Richmond County Board of Education and the Richmond County School System should direct any person requesting records under the Open Records Act to the Open Records Custodian.
Although the online portal is highly preferred, requests can also be mailed to the following. Requestors should provide a legal name and all appropriate contact information in order for the request to be promptly fulfilled.
Open Records Custodian
Kim Fletcher Bowden
Policy and Legal Compliance Officer
Richmond County School System
864 Broad Street
Augusta, Georgia 30901