OR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2017
Contact: Frank D. LoMonte, SPLC Executive Director
email@example.com 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.
Since 1974, the Student Press Law Center has been devoted to educating high school and college journalists about the rights and responsibilities embodied in the First Amendment, and supporting the student news media in covering important issues free from censorship. The SPLC is a donor-supported IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit, providing free legal and educational resources online at www.splc.org.