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Sen. Michele Brooks receives Champion of Public Education award

State Sen. Michele Brooks is pictured with Pennsylvania School Boards Association officials.

The Pennsylvania School Boards Association recently presented Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Crawford/Erie/Mercer/Warren, with a Champion of Public Education award.

The PSBA Champion of Public Education award recognizes lawmakers for their outstanding support of traditional public schools during a two-year legislative session. This support is measured by the legislator’s voting record, bills introduced, attendance and involvement at their local districts, and efforts to work with PSBA to support public schools.

“Senator Brooks understands the complex administrative issues that impact school district operations across the state such as the time and resources that are required to be spent in responding to Right-to-Know requests made for commercial purposes,” said PSBA CEO Nathan Mains.

As stated by Sen. Brooks, Senate Bill 312 would amend the Right-to-Know law to allow school districts and other local governments to charge a nominal fee in order to cover the time, work and other taxpayer resources that go into responding to requests for records made by individuals or entities that plan on using the information for a commercial purpose such as soliciting for new customers or reselling the information obtained. The purpose of the Right-to-Know law is to ensure that citizens have access to information about how their government functions. However, individuals and entities have been able to use the law to obtain information from local governments at taxpayer expense and not in the interest of transparency, but rather in an effort to generate revenue.

“Being selected for this award is very meaningful to me, as I welcome this opportunity to continue working with parents and schools to give children the tools and educational support they need to compete in today’s world,” Brooks said. “I appreciate the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and local leaders, who brought the need for stronger Right-to-Know legislation to my attention in an effort to restore the original intent of this law– providing transparency to community members. In response to their request, I sponsored Senate Bill 312, which will protect local taxpayers from the cost of out-of-town and out-of-state requests for information sought by for-profit businesses through the Right-to-Know law. I thank PSBA for this award and their partnership.”

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