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At the last school board meeting (Jan. 27), a school board member showed frustration at the number of FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests that District 112 has recently received.

Our Constitution guarantees us a government 'of, by and for the people.' By law, citizens have the right to use FOIAs as an avenue with which to view information from government offices. As taxpayers, we have a right to transparency, a right to see how our money is spent, a right to see how our children are being educated.

When Parents of District 112 asked questions of this district which weren't sufficiently answered, we chose to use legal FOIAs to obtain this information. If District 112 had been transparent by listing critical information on their website, there wouldn't have been reason to do so. Often, the most revealing information is hidden deep within these documents.

Using these FOIA requests allowed us to see that, for example, the pre-K program was taking up space in the elementary schools. They uncovered the dollars spent on Dr. Muhammad Khalifa and other equity programs.

I suggest that you begin to use your FOIA rights to force transparency from your local and state government — or even your school board. Our elected officials often act as though this government and these tax dollars belong to them. It's time to help them understand that we, the taxpayer, have a right to a say in our government, too.

And never forget: Sunshine continues to be the best disinfectant.

Lynn McHale

North Oaks

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.


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