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Two Pennsylvania laws are key to accessing information

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Act requires school districts and other agencies to discuss and make decisions on most of their important business at meetings that are publicized in advance and open to the public.

Pennsylvania’s “Right to Know” Act requires school boards, charter schools, and other state agencies to make their public records available for examination and copying. The law spells out how requests should be made and how to appeal a denial. There are strict deadlines within which agencies must respond to written requests for records. Among the categories of public records are contracts and other information about an agency’s fiscal affairs.

More information on these laws is available from the Education Law Center (www.elc-pa.org) at 215-238-6970.