BUSD Transparency $500

Yesterday I received a response from Beaumont Unified school district's business services department. I was encouraged that after 33 days they were finally responding but they aren't going to make this easy. They told me that the entire general ledger is so large that they are unable to email it to me and that there will be a cost. As far as I can tell, it could be about $500. They offered a summary general ledger they said was small enough to email. I accepted this as a starting point and asked again for the details of the four categories I originally requested. Below is their email along with my response. Any documents I receive will be made available on my website.

The school district's response:

The District received your request to access public records on April 3rd. The request is for copies of the 2011/2012 general ledger.  

Please note that we have a summary general ledger report readily available which is about 25 pages.  

For a detailed general ledger, we are having difficulty extracting the information into one file. The file is simply too large, causing the computer to freeze and crash. We attempted breaking down the information to monthly increments, but even when we did this for a one-month worth of data, the size of the extracted file was over 250 MB and included 300 pages. It took over 30 minutes to extract the one-month worth of data by one of our staff members. In addition, the file is too large to email and must therefore be stored in a hard drive or memory stick. We estimate that for 9 months of detailed general ledger information we will have approximately 3000 pages and about 2 to 3 GB of data. It will also take a few hours of staff time to extract and download the information into a memory stick. 

 For the cost of each option:  

Summary General Ledger:                                           No cost as the file is small enough to be sent electronically

Detailed General Ledger (hard copies):                  10 cents per copy (around 3000 plus pages)

Detailed General Ledger (Electronic):                     Cost of staff time to extract and reproduce the information plus the cost of the memory stick. It took about 30 minutes to extract and reproduce one month worth of data. We estimate that it will take approximately 5 to 6 hours to complete with staff hourly rate of = $26 per hour. The memory stick costs approximately $20.      

 Please let me know the soonest what information you are interested in receiving and the format in which you would like to receive it in so that we can proceed in getting this information to you. 

 Once you have identified the manner and format of production you request, the documents will be gathered and prepared for production.  Additional time may be needed to gather and prepare the documents once you have responded.   

In addition, Beaumont Unified School District reserves the right, duties, and obligation to review, identify, remove or redact privileged, protected and/or exempt documents under Government Code section 6250 et seq. and other applicable state and federal legal protections as they may arise and appear in the documents, to include but not be limited to employee and personnel records, student educational records, medical and physician/patient privacies, and attorney/client privileges and litigation privileges, among others.

My response:

Thank you for your response.

Please email me the Summary General Ledger for a start.
Also...If you can provide me as detailed information available for the four categories I listed in my previous request I would appreciate it. 
They are:
  • Approved Textbooks and Core Curricula Materials

  • Materials and Supplies

  • Travel and Conferences

  • Professional Consulting Services and Operating Expenditures
I understand the data comes to you compressed and then your system, I believe the county uses Galaxy, automatically unzips it. You should be able to zip it back before emailing it to me. I would prefer to get the files electronically and would be willing to bring you a thumb drive (memory stick) if you are unable to email me what I need.

I may still want to see the Detailed General Ledger, please provide me a cost total for both hard copy and electronic versions.

Thank you,