FOIA Requests Forms and Procedures
You may request to review or receive public records of the Charleston County School District pursuant to the state’s Freedom of Information Act by completing the Freedom of Information Act Request Form. Please send the completed form via any one of three options noted below. Your FOIA request should clearly and specifically describe the records sought, and include detailed identifying information (e.g., names, places and the period of time).
All requests for information under FOIA must be submitting in writing to:
Mail:Office of CommunicationsProject ManagerCharleston County School District
75 Calhoun Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Under South Carolina’s Freedom of Information Act S.C. Code Ann. 30-4-20, the “public record” is defined as “all books, papers, maps, photographs, cards, tapes, recordings, or other documentary materials regardless of physical form or characteristics prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by a public body.”
If it is determined that a request is not covered under FOIA, the request will be forwarded to the appropriate department for a response. FOIA does not require the Charleston County School District to create or generate records that do not exist, nor does it require information be formatted in a particular manner or file type. Certain records may be exempted from release by FOIA and/or the Family Educational Privacy Act (FERPA).
Under FOIA, the Charleston County School District has ten (10) business days (excluding weekends and holidays) to notify the requester of the public availability of the record. Once notification has taken place, the district has an additional 30 calendar days to produce the requested information. For records that are more than 24 months old, the initial notification deadline is 20 business days, and the deadline for producing the requested information is 35 calendar days.
Reasonable fees not to exceed the actual costs of searching for, retrieving, redacting, and reproducing records requested under the FOIA will be charged in accordance with S.C. Ann. 30-4-30 (B).
If it is determined that a fee will be assessed, the requester will be invoiced and payment is required in full before the public records are released.
If the request is deemed to be of a large volume, the requester will be notified and given an opportunity to narrow the request or will be required to pay a deposit of 25% in advance of any work being initiated. Payment in full will still be required before the public records are released.
All fees are subject to change at any time without notice.
Copy Fee Schedule:
*$20.00 per hour for search, retrieval and redaction time.
$5.00 per disc
$ .011 per B/W – Letter size
$ .062 per Color – Letter size
$ .0156 per B/W – Legal size
$ .0698 per Color – Legal
Mailing Fee Schedule:
Mailing costs will be assessed as charged by the U.S. Postal Service.
**Non-standard sizes will be billed at the actual cost to the Charleston County School District**
The Charleston County School District prefers to transmit responses electronically, via email, if that option is available. No mailing cost will be incurred if the response is sent via email.
Referral of Requests to the Office of General Counsel
The Office of General Counsel coordinates with the Office of Strategy and Communications on all FOIA requests. Certain requests which may involve ongoing litigation, student, personnel, trade secret, or other separate statutory exemption from the release will be handled by the General Counsel.
Family Privacy Protection Act Notice
Obtaining or using personal information obtained from a state agency for commercial solicitation is prohibited pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. 30-2-50. Violators are subject to criminal prosecution.
* Labor fees are based upon the minimum hourly wage of the lowest-paid positions which, in Charleston County School District’s reasonable discretion, have the necessary skill and training to respond to basic FOIA requests. FOIA requests requiring a higher level of skill and training to respond will incur higher hourly labor rates.