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Everywhere in the United States, there are statutory schemes mandating that the records and documents generated by public entities be made available to the public. In some states, like California, the legal basis for open public records derives from the state constitution. Accordingly, the governing bodies of public schools, public colleges, and public universities typically must comply with states' open records laws. Indeed, generally speaking, records of public schools and public colleges must be made available for public inspection upon request. States' open records laws are analogous to the federal Freedom of Information Act.

The primary underlying public policy of the open records laws is to encourage open government and to discourage governmental secrecy. Many of the states' open records statutes set forth express statements of ...

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