No, I'm not talking about the lovely weather we had this weekend.
This week is "Sunshine Week" to acknowledge the importance of Open Government, and to pay attention to the Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act.
These are some extremely useful laws!
Ed Vielmetti has written quite a bit about them.
See, for instance, this most recent article.
Or look at his FOIA Coordinator blog.
The Ann Arbor Area Government Document Repository (I know, a fancy name! But it's not fancy--and its web address is a simple a2docs.org) has quite a few government documents--many of which were gotten through FOIA requests. In my opinion, this is a vastly underutilized place to store "found" documents. [And if you are interested, the Ann Arbor City Council Email Series is there.]
Although they are not perfect laws, take a moment this week to toast the late, Ann Arbor, representative Perry Bullard for his devotion to open government. He sponsored the Michigan Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act.
And yes, they apply to schools. If you want information, ask the administrators at the school district from which you want information. Often, you won't even need to fill out a freedom of information request. But if you do, don't be intimidated. There is lots of information out there that can help you!