NEWS RELEASE: Open-government advocates support UCF student news site in fight for access to expense-account records


February 8, 2017
Contact: Frank D. LoMonte, SPLC Executive Director or 202-785-5450

Six open-government organizations are throwing their support behind college journalists at the University of Central Florida fighting for access to student government spending records that UCF lawyers contend are confidential “education records” protected by federal privacy law.

In a brief filed Tuesday with Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach, the Student Press Law Center and five other advocacy groups argue that a circuit-court judge was correct in ordering disclosure of the documents sought by Knight News under the Florida public records law. The university contends that the documents — which show how much student government elected officials were reimbursed for travel and other business expenses — are exempt from disclosure under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), a much-abused statute often manipulated by government agencies to conceal unflattering information.



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