Open Records Request FAQs



What is an Open Records Request?

An Open Records Request is a request made pursuant to the Open Records Act for a record created by, received by, under the authority of, or coming into the possession of a "public body" or a "public official." The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) and the State Board of Education (SBE) are considered entities that fall within the definition of a "public body."


What is considered a record?

The Open Records Act provides a broad definition of record. Examples of records include, but are not limited to, all data or datasets, files, written messages and communications, audio and video recordings, minutes, proceedings, rules, documents, decisions, opinions, policies, and written materials of any other nature required by law to be maintained by OSDE or SBE, regardless of physical form.


How do I file Open Records Request?

In order to provide prompt, reasonable access to records, we recommended that records requests be submitted with the online Open Records Request form or by submitting the PDF form by email, fax, or regular mail.


Can I request a copy of my GED or high school diploma?

OSDE does not maintain GED or high school diploma records. For a copy of your GED, you can request a copy online through DiplomaSender. If you need a copy of your school transcript, please contact the district or school you attended. For your convenience, a school/district directory is available online.


Do I have to fill out an Open Records Request to verify a teaching certificate?

No, OSDE has an educator certificate verification website to verify the official record of the educator's certification status and this website satisfies Oklahoma statute Title 70, Section 6-101(B), which requires school districts to verify an educator’s certification prior to employment. OSDE does not provide individually prepared letters of professional standing or verification of an Oklahoma educator's certification status.


Are there any records already made public?

Many of the records and datasets collected by OSDE have already been made publicly available on the Public Records website. Examples of public records include enrollment data, testing data, finance information, school district salary data, and directory information.


Are there fees for filing an Open Records Request?

OSDE reserves the right to recover the actual cost of record search and copying, including labor, if the information requested is not readily available or requires an extended amount of time to retrieve. This fee sheet is filed with the County Clerk’s office and also published online. OSDE applies the following costs when necessary:

$25 per hour fee for commercial requests or those that cause excessive disruption of office functions (OSDE defines an "excessive disruption" request as one that requires more than eight [8] hours of actual employee work time to compile)

$80 per hour fee when computer programming is required on a customized request. This fee is set by Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES). All of our data is managed by OMES because of a law passed in 2011 (62 O.S. 35.6).

$85 per hour fee when additional legal support is required. This fee is the rate charged to state agencies for legal support by the Office of the Attorney General.

All fees for copies, including delivery fees, must be paid by check or money order, payable to OSDE, before the documents are provided. Please note that the request will not be processed until payment has been received so records may not be immediately available after payment.


How long does it take to receive requested records?

A delay in providing access to records will only be limited to the time required for preparing the requested records without causing an excessive disruption of OSDE's essential functions. Most requests are fulfilled within 30 days. However, reasonable response times may be shorter or longer, depending upon a number of factors, including the volume of pending requests, workload of the program office where the records are maintained, and the number of records responsive to the request.


What records are not maintained by OSDE?


Can a records request be denied?

A request may be denied if:

  • the record is exempt from disclosure or deemed confidential by state or federal law
  • the record contains student data
  • the record is protected by state evidentiary privilege
  • the record is a personnel record that meets the criteria set forth at 51 O.S. § 24A.7
  • it consists of personal notes or personally created materials
  • the records contain a complaint received by the public official from a person exercising rights secured by the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma or the Constitution of the United States
  • It is a customized request that causes an excessive disruption of OSDE's essential functions


What are the statutes and regulations pertaining to confidentiality and privacy of personnel records, educational records and student data?

 

Last updated on June 21, 2018