New Westminster school district rejects parent's appeal

An appeal by a New Westminster parent of a $1,385 fee charged for a freedom of information request has been denied by the school district.
Lisa Chao had filed the FOI asking for the last five years of math marks from Grade 8 to 12 in New Westminster broken down by class, grade and teacher.
When she got the bill, Chao appealed the levy claiming it was "inappropriate."
In a letter to Chao this week, the district rejected her appeal. Assistant superintendent Al Balanuik said Chao's request would require 1,700 pages of information. New Westminster secondary, wrote Balaniuk, offers an average of 70 math classes a year, with an average of 28 students per class which means 9.800 student records.
He also said breaking it down by teacher would be against the privacy portion of freedom of information legislation.
"Simply, the School District needs to ensure its resources are expended appropriately. Given the depth and breadth of the three requests that you submitted, it was determined a fee was appropriate," said Balanuik.
Chao said she will appeal to the provincial privacy commissioner, but if that fails will be taking donations to help her pay for her requests, which she intends to follow through on.
She said a neighbour who is a senior knocked on her door recently "to donate to the cause," but she has yet to accept funds, although the list of names who she will contact is growing.

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