WSR 02-18-054

PERMANENT RULES

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION


[ Filed August 28, 2002, 3:50 p.m. ]

Date of Adoption: August 23, 2002.

Purpose: Merge chapters and make technical changes as a result of review by the State Board of Education Mandate Review Committee.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 180-08-003 and 180-08-005.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 34.05.220, 28A.305.130.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 02-14-115 on July 2, 2002.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 5, Amended 0, Repealed 2.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 5, Amended 0, Repealed 2.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 5, Amended 0, Repealed 2; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

August 28, 2002

Larry Davis

Executive Director

OTS-5489.2

Chapter 180-08 WAC

PRACTICE ((AND)), PROCEDURE, AND ACCESS TO PUBLIC RECORDS


NEW SECTION
WAC 180-08-001   Purpose and authority.   (1) The purpose of this chapter is to establish the formal and informal procedures of the state board of education relating to rules adoption, protection of public records, and access to public records.

(2) The authority for this chapter is RCW 34.05.220 and 42.17.250 through 42.17.348.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 180-08-002   General description of organization.   (1) The state board of education is created by law in chapter 28A.305 RCW. The board consists of one voting member from each congressional district in the state, elected by the members of school district boards of directors in the congressional district, who serve staggered four-year terms; the superintendent of public instruction, who serves as an ex officio member and chief executive officer of the board and votes only to break ties; and one member elected at large by members of the boards of directors of approved private schools, who serves a four-year term. A secretary (executive director) is appointed by the board.

(2) General policy powers of the board relate to educator preparation and certification requirements, school construction, high school graduation requirements, school district approval for basic education funding purposes, waivers from basic education requirements, school accreditation, school district boundaries, approval of private schools, and other matters.

(3) The state board typically meets six times a year and publishes a schedule of its meetings and notices of proposed rule-making actions in the Washington State Register. The meetings may be scheduled in various locations across the state. The secretary (executive director) to the state board of education maintains a complete record of all board proceedings and supporting materials.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 180-08-004   Definitions.   (1) As used in this chapter, "public record" includes any writing containing information relating to the conduct of government or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function prepared, owned, used, or retained by the state board of education, regardless of physical form or characteristics. Personal and other records cited in RCW 42.17.310 are exempt from the definition of public record.

(2) As used in this chapter, "writing" means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photographing, use of facsimile and electronic communication, and every other means of recording any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, symbols, or combination thereof, and all papers, maps, magnetic or paper tapes, photographic films and prints, motion picture, film and video recordings, magnetic or punched cards, disks, drums, diskettes, sound recordings, and other documents including existing data compilations from which data may be obtained or translated.

(3) The state board of education shall hereafter be referred to as the "board" or "state board."

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NEW SECTION
WAC 180-08-006   Public records officer -- Access to public records -- Requests for public records -- Determination regarding exempt records -- Review of denials of public record requests -- Protection of public records -- Copying -- Office hours.   (1) The state board's public records officer shall be the board's secretary (executive director) located in the administrative office of the board located in the Old Capitol Building, 600 South Washington, Olympia, Washington 98504-7206. The secretary (executive director) shall be responsible for implementation of the board's rules and regulations regarding release of public records and generally ensuring compliance by staff with the public records disclosure requirements in chapter 42.17 RCW.

(2) Access to public records in the state board of education shall be provided in compliance with the provisions of RCW 42.17.260.

(3) Requests for public records must comply with the following procedures:

(a) A request shall be made in writing to the secretary (executive director) or designee of the board. The request may be brought to the administrative office of the board during customary office hours or may be mailed, delivered by facsimile, or by electronic mail. The request shall include the following information:

(i) The name of the person requesting the record;

(ii) The time of day and calendar date on which the request was made;

(iii) The nature of the request;

(iv) If the matter requested is referenced within the current index maintained by the secretary (executive director), a reference to the requested information as it is described in such current index;

(v) If the requested matter is not identifiable by reference to the current index, an appropriate description of the record requested shall be provided.

(b) In all cases in which a member of the public is making a request, it shall be the obligation of the secretary (executive director), or person to whom the request is made, to assist the member of the public in succinctly identifying the public record requested.

(4)(a) The board reserves the right to determine that a public record requested in accordance with subsection (3) of this section is exempt under the provisions of RCW 42.17.310 and 42.17.315. Such determination may be made in consultation with the secretary (executive director) or an assistant attorney general assigned to the board.

(b) Pursuant to RCW 42.17.260, the board reserves the right to delete identifying details when it makes available or publishes any public record when there is reason to believe that disclosure of such details would be an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy: Provided, however, In each case, the justification for the deletion shall be explained fully in writing.

(c) Response to requests for a public record must be made promptly. Within five business days of receiving a public record request, the board shall respond by either:

(i) Providing the record;

(ii) Acknowledging that the board has received the request and providing a reasonable estimate of the time the board will require to respond to the request; or

(iii) Denying the public record request.

(d) Additional time required to respond to a request may be based upon the need to clarify the intent of the request, to locate and assemble the information requested, to notify third persons or agencies affected by the request, or to determine whether any of the information requested is exempt and that a denial should be made as to all or part of the request. In acknowledging receipt of a public record request that is unclear, the agency may ask the requester to clarify what information the requester is seeking. If the requester fails to clarify the request within five working days of being asked for said clarification, the board need not respond to it.

(5) All denials of request for public records must be accompanied by a written statement, signed by the secretary (executive director) or designee, specifying the reason for the denial, a statement of the specific exemption authorizing the withholding of the record, and a brief explanation of how the exemption applies to the public record withheld.

(6)(a) Any person who objects to the denial of a request for a public record may petition for prompt review of such decision by tendering a written request for review. The written request shall specifically refer to the written statement which constituted or accompanied the denial.

(b) The written request by a person petitioning for prompt review of a decision denying a public record shall be submitted to the board's secretary (executive director) or designee.

(c) Within two business days after receiving a written request by a person petitioning for a prompt review of a decision denying a public record, the secretary (executive director) or designee shall complete such review.

(d) During the course of the review the secretary (executive director) or designee shall consider the obligations of the board to comply fully with the intent of chapter 42.17 RCW insofar as it requires providing full public access to official records, but shall also consider both the exemptions provided in RCW 42.17.310 through 42.17.315, and the provisions of the statute which require the agency to protect public records from damage or disorganization, prevent excessive interference with essential functions of the agency, and prevent any unreasonable invasion of personal privacy by deleting identifying details.

(7) Public records and a facility for their inspection will be provided by the secretary (executive director) or designee. Such records shall not be removed from the place designated for their inspection. Copies of such records may be arranged for according to the provisions of subsection (8) of this section.

(8) No fee shall be charged for the inspection of public records. The board may impose a charge for providing copies of public records and for the use by any person of agency equipment to copy public records. Copying charges shall be reasonable and conform with RCW 42.17.300. No person shall be released a record so copied until and unless the person requesting the copied public record has tendered payment for such copying to the appropriate official. All charges must be paid by money order, check, or cash in advance.

(9) Public records shall be available for inspection and copying during the customary office hours of the administrative office of the board. For the purposes of this chapter, the customary office hours shall be from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays and dates of official state board of education business requiring all board staff to be away from the office.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 180-08-008   Administrative practices regarding hearings and rule proceedings.   (1) Administrative practices before and pertaining to the state board of education are governed by the state Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 34.05 RCW, the Washington State Register Act, chapter 34.08 RCW, and the Office of Administrative Hearings Act, chapter 34.12 RCW. These acts govern the conduct of "agency action"; the conduct of "adjudicative proceedings"; and "rule making" as these terms are defined in RCW 34.05.010.

(2) The rules of the state code reviser (currently set forth in chapters 1-08 and 1-21 WAC) and the rules of the office of administrative hearings (currently set forth in chapter 10-08 WAC) shall govern procedures and practices before the state board of education for the following: Petitions for declaratory rulings; petitions for adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule; and the conduct of adjudicative proceedings. All other regulatory actions and hearings conducted by the state board of education may be conducted informally at the discretion of the state board of education.

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REPEALER

     The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:
WAC 180-08-003 Authority.
WAC 180-08-005 Administrative practices regarding hearings and rule proceedings.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office