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Public Data Access Policy: Requesting Access to Public Data
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Public Data Access Policy: Requesting Access to Public Data

Public Data Access Policy: Requesting Access to Public Data

This policy is required by Minnesota Statutes, sections 13.025 and 13.03 and applies to data requests from members of the public/persons who are NOT the subject of the data being requested (i.e., the data you are requesting are not data about you). 

Your Right to See Public Data

Minneapolis Public Schools looks to the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA), Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13, regarding the disclosure and the classification of its data. The MGDPA presumes that all government data are public unless a state or federal law says that the data are not public. Government data means all recorded information that the District has, including paper, email, flash drives, CDs, DVDs, photographs, etc.

The MGDPA requires Minneapolis Public Schools to keep all government data in a way that makes it easy for you to access public data. You have the right to look at (inspect), free of charge, all public data maintained by the District. You also have the right to get copies of public data or to look at (inspect) data, free of charge, before deciding to request copies. The MGDPA allows the District to charge for the actual costs of searching and retrieving government data, including the cost of employee time, and for making, certifying, and electronically transmitting the copies of the data. 

How to Request Public Data

Option 1: To make a data request to the Minneapolis Public Schools, you should use the data request center. You must specifically state what data you wish to request. You may ask to look at (inspect) data at our offices, ask for copies of public data that we maintain, or both. The District encourages the use of its data request center if you want to receive an acknowledgment receipt email and an assigned request ID.
Option 2: Alternatively, if you choose to not use the District’s data request center, your request must be submitted in writing by U.S. Mail to the District’s Data Practices Compliance Official. Your written request should:
  • State that you are making a request for data under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13).
  • Provide a clear description of the data you wish to request.
  • Indicate whether you wish to inspect the data, have copies of the data, or both.

A request will not be considered a data request for MGDPA purposes unless submitted as described in Option 1 or 2 above, and the District reserves the right to not respond to such requests.

While the District cannot require you to identify yourself or explain the reason for your data request, we may need some personal contact information about you depending on how you want us to process your request (e.g., you want us to mail you copies of the data). Also, if we have no way to contact you, we cannot process and respond to your request. Lastly, please note that public data requests, and responses to those requests, are also public data.

How We Will Respond to Your Data Request

Upon receiving your data request, the District will review it. Since the District is not able to process and fulfill vague a request, we may ask you to specifically state or clarify what data that you are requesting. If we ask you to clarify your request and you do not respond to us within 5 business days, we will consider your request abandoned and closed. 
If we do not have the data, we will tell you as soon as reasonably possible.
If we have the data, but we are not allowed to give it to you, we will tell you as soon as reasonably possible and identify the law that prevents us from providing the data.
If we have the data, and the data are public, we will respond to your request appropriately and promptly, within a reasonable amount of time by doing one of the following:
  • Providing the data in electronic form upon request if we keep the data in that format or manner.
  • Arranging a date, time, and place for you to inspect the data at our offices during normal business hours. In almost all instances, inspection will be at our District offices, the Davis Center, located at 1250 West Broadway Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55411. If you do not arrange an appointment time to inspect the data within 10 business days after we tell you it is ready, we will conclude that you no longer want the data and will consider your request abandoned and closed.
  • Telling you, if applicable, the cost estimate for actual costs that that you must pay before we process your request. All actual costs must be paid prior to us providing you with any data responsive for your request. If you do not pay the cost estimate for actual costs within 10 business days after we provide you with the cost estimate, we will conclude that you no longer want the data and will consider your request abandoned and closed.

Response time may be impacted by the complexity, size, and/or nature of your request, and also by the number of requests you make in a given period of time. 

If you do not understand some of the data (technical terminology, abbreviations, or acronyms),  you may contact the Data Practices Compliance Official or the Responsible Authority listed below. We will give you an explanation if you ask.
The  MGDPA does not require us to create or collect new data in response to a data request, or to provide data in a specific form or arrangement if we do not keep the data in that form or arrangement. For example, if the data you request are on paper only, we are not required to create electronic documents to respond to your request. If we agree to create data in response to your request, we will work with you on the details of your request, including cost and response time.
We will not use staff time to modify or analyze data for the sole purpose of public data requests.
We are also not required to respond to questions that are unrelated to government data requests. 

Requests for Email Data

Requests to search more than one District employee’s email must be submitted as individual data requests and include the employee’s full name and email address. 

Bundled Requests

The District reserves the right to bundle multiple requests made within the same 10 business day  period by a requester or by requesters that are from the same entity. In such instances, the District will work the requester or requesters to prioritize what request or what part(s) of the requests that will be processed by the District. 

Requests for Preparation of Summary Data

Summary data are statistical records or reports created by removing identifying information about individuals from entirely private or confidential data.
You may request summary data in writing. When we receive your request, we will respond within 10 business days and inform of whether it is possible to produce summary data without compromising confidentiality, and, if so, make detailed arrangements to prepare the summary data and provide you with a cost estimate.
The District reserves the right to require you to pre-pay all or a portion of the cost of creating the summary data before it begins to prepare the summary data. All costs incurred must be paid prior to the District supplying any of the requested summary data to you. 

Copy Costs – When You Request Public Data

Minnesota Statutes, section 13.03, subdivision 3(c) allows us to charge for copies. All copy costs must be paid in full before the District will provide the data to you. The District reserves the right to treat multiple requests made within the same 10 business day period by a requester or where the requesters are all from the same entity as a single request for the purposes of calculating total copy costs.

For 100 or fewer paper copies – 25 cents per page

100 or fewer pages of black and white, letter or legal size paper copies cost 25¢ for a one-sided copy, or 50¢ for a two-sided copy.

Most other types of copies – actual cost

The charge for most other types of copies, when a charge is not set by statute or rule, is the actual cost of searching for and retrieving the data, and making the copies or electronically sending the data. 

In determining the actual cost of making copies, we include employee time, the cost of the materials onto which we are copying the data (paper, CD, DVD, etc.), and mailing costs (if any). If your request is for copies of data that we cannot copy ourselves, such as photographs, we will charge you the actual cost we must pay an outside vendor for the copies.

If, based on your request, we find it necessary for a higher-paid employee to search for and retrieve the data, we will calculate search and retrieval charges at the higher salary/wage.

Data Practices Contacts 

MPS Responsible Authority

MPS Data Practices Compliance Official

Rochelle Cox
Interim Superintendent

Karina Magistad

Mailing Address for Written Data Requests:
Minneapolis Public Schools
Attn: Board Office / Data Practices Compliance Official
1250 West Broadway Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55411


(Last Reviewed 08/09/2023)