Elizabeth A. Beukema-ScheinbergDelaware Department of Justice Attn: FOIA Deputy Attorney General820 N. French StreetWilmington, DE 19801 Attn: FOIA Deputy Attorney General
Please accept this letter as a formal petition for an Attorney’s General’s opinion regarding the February 5, 2013
board meeting of theBoard of Directors of Pencader Business and Finance Charter School and a violation of
Delaware’s Freedom Information Act.
On Tuesday, February 5, 2013, the Pencader Board of Directors held a meeting with a quorum of board members in attendance. Thepurpose of the meeting was board governance training as mandated by the Delaware Department of Education as a result of
Delaware’s Department of Education’s
Formal Review investigation where the Charter School Accountability Committee had
determined that Pencader’s Board of Directors had failed to meet the statutory criteria for Governance and A
dministration. (CSACFinal Report, http://blogs.delawareonline.com/delawareed/files/2013/01/Pencader-Report-2012.pdf)The News Journal through their Delaware Ed blog, published on February 4, 2013,
briefly noted a “board training session
“The school board will have a board training session Tuesday, McIntosh reports, and there’s a parent meeting scheduled at a pi
zzashop the next day, he said. The public hearing regarding the state Department of Education
’s review will be later this month.”
Upon reading this blog post of the Delaware Ed blog on the evening of Monday, February 4, 2013, I emailed Pencader
boardpresident, Frank McIntosh, and requested a copy of the FOIA-compliant posting for the meeting. Mr. McIntosh was unable to providethat posting to me. His email is attached. As of 8:53 am on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, this meeting of the Board of Directors had not been noticed and no agenda had beenmade available to the public.The purpose of the planned meeting as identified by the News Journal and via personal correspondence with the President of theBoard of Director, Frank McIntosh
is “board training.”
In the attached correspondence, Mr. McIntosh invited me to attend this the Boardof Directo
meeting; however, such an invitation to one member of the public does not constitute notice to the public at-large, nor does he indicate the time or place of the meeting. But, without proper notice, I was unable make arrangements to attend.During the Tuesday, February 5
workday, a notice was finally posted to the school’s website with an agenda, time, and location.
However, the date and day were inaccurate.
(This is particularly concerning, as Pencader’s board suffered from the same type of error
regarding its July meeting as addressed in previous FOIA petitions to the Attorney General. An opinion was issued by Mr. Jason Staibin this previous matter.) The latest meeting was improperly noticed for
, February 5, 2013 (day and date are incongruent)There was also a competing and compliant notice for another board meeting to be held off-site for Wednesday, February 6, 2013.Furthermore, the notice occurred less than seven days before the meeting and the meeting did not rise to the threshold of an
“emergency meeting” nor were reasons stated for the late posting of the agenda.Of interest, as of 10:13 am, today, February 8, 2013, the late and incorrect notice published to Pencader’s website has been
Pencader’s Board of Directors is a public body as de
fined by Delaware Title 29, Chapter 100 subsection 10002(h). It is my belief and experience that
falls within the definition of “Public Business” as defined in Del. Title 29, C
hapter 100, subsection 10002(j) and that Pencader
Board of Directors is compelled by state code to post notice of such meetings pursuantTitle 29, Chapter 100 subsection 10004(a), (e).
This particular “training session” (as described by the News Journal in their Delaware