Teachers union: Don’t allow evaluations to be made public

Robby Soave | Reporter

A Florida teachers union has filed a motion in court to prevent a newspaper from obtaining teacher evaluation records.

The Florida Times-Union sought the documents through a public records request, but hit a snag in court when the state decided it would seek the opinion of the attorney general’s office regarding whether it was required to turn over the documents. The Florida Education Association then joined with the state to oppose the newspaper.

According to the teachers union, the state is not required to release information on teacher evaluations.

“There is an exception to the public records law for evaluations of teachers, and it is our position that what the newspaper is requesting falls into that exception,” said Jennifer Blohm, an FEA lawyer, in a statement.

The Times-Union sees the matter differently. Not releasing the records amounts to “a refusal to perform an official ministerial duty,” according to the newspaper’s lawsuit against the state.

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