San Diego Unified School District plans to purge nearly all email messages older than 6 months on July 1. It may do so before the public or school board even has a chance to weigh in.
The district’s change to its record retention policy may also wipe out old emails that were requested under the California Public Records Act long before the policy went into effect, according to the district’s legal office.
Voice of San Diego is still waiting for certain budget-related emails sent in 2016 that may reveal what district leadership knew about the impending multimillion-dollar shortfall that left roughly a thousand employees without a job next year.
The district is scheduled to produce those emails by July 21, 14 weeks after they were requested, but Jeffrey Day, a legal specialist for San Diego Unified, said there’s no guarantee that will still occur.
“Public Records Act requests received prior to June 8, 2017 have been submitted to our Integrated Technologies Support Services Department. June 8, 2017 was the date the new Email Retention Policy was announced. The Integrated Technologies Support Services Department is doing their best to make sure that all the requests get processed prior to the transition, however we cannot guarantee that all of them will be completed by that date,” Day wrote.
On Friday, San Diegans for Open Government made a public records request for all emails set to be deleted. The group said it believes it would be illegal for the district to begin deleting messages on July 1.
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OK - let's do a little math:
Google says average email size is 15KB to 500KB
District says 60,000,000 (60M) emails per years
Amazon Web Services provides an encrypted, safe, secure cloud environment that is scalable (S3) and they even have a cheaper "Archive" storage (called Glacier) for storing older material
500KB times 60,000,000 converted to TeraBytes (TB) comes out to 30 Terabytes!!
In AWS, using published pricing this is less than $2,000 per year, encrypted, fast, accessible, and can be archived for even less and they have the tools (API/SDK, etc...) to interface with the whatever SDUSD has for their IT.
Millions? Please show me how? Once again - seems that district has an alternative agenda since the true math makes absolutely no fiscal sense.
Anyone with knowledge of the tech industry knows that the price of electronic storage, whether done in-house or with a vendor, has **fallen** dramatically. Large capacity hard drives that might have cost $600 five years ago cost $60 today. ***BOGUS***
Nothing to see here folks, union jobs are safe and the emails are being deleted "for the children." Now be good and vote yes on the next school bond or tax hike on "the rich."
Obfuscate, deflect, destroy all evidence, this is what the 42 school districts in San Diego do. Not to mention waste as much money as possible, and then complain there is not enough. They only allow union shops to bid on projects- at a high cost. They apply teacher benefits (because they are underpaid) to those making over 6 figures, often paying bureaucrats 6 figures in retirement plus healthcare. They don't allow efficiency or computerization. Public Unions should not be allowed. This is what happens.
What happened to the data storage facility that the district spent millions of Prop S bond funds to build next to Serra High School years ago? This sounds like a convenient way for the district to "solve" their problem with complying with Freedom of Information Act requests. Can a court order stop this action?
On a completely different note, it makes absolutely no sense from a teacher perspective to delete emails in the middle of a school year. For example, perhaps there are communications between a parent and a student about a students' special needs at the beginning of the year, but the issue doesn't crop-up until mid-year. Unless the teacher has printed out the information or saved it in a document, the information would be lost. This is utter stupidity.
Comment on: “…District spokeswoman Jennifer Rodriguez said in an email the district is “currently spending millions of dollars on server space to store email exchanges,” and without action “the district is facing over a million dollars in new storage expenses this fall……..the district fields more than 60 million emails a year.”
I am not an IT guy but millions of dollars seem like a lot with cloud storage services cheaply available. . The link http://www.hostingadvice.com/how-to/aws-s3-pricing/seems to show that 1TB/mo. storage cost of $39.63.
The school district requires an IT department but most of its cost is related to IT salaries, computer equipment, networking expenses etc. – not for email storage.
For email storage a disk drive (4TB) from Staples could store 60 million yearly emails of 66KB (~32 pages) for $109. So I don’t understand where the “over a million dollars in new storage expenses” comes from.
The public should request that the school district identify “… these millions of dollars…” for email storage before deleting any records.
@Chris Wood I am an IT guy (used to be) and you are quite right in terms of disk costs, although storage is a bit more complicated than the drive.
@rhylton @Chris Wood Hi rhylton, have a degree in Computer Science (Database major) and realize the miserable performance one 4TB drive would have for servicing the entire school district email. Was trying to call attention to the absurdity counter posing “millions of dollars” savings vs. a $109 Staples disk drive a ~10,000:1 difference in cost to call attention to it.
Solution to districts concern: It would probably be possible to use the $109 drive for historical emails from
six months ago and before due to minimal
Historical email at work took ~5 second to access emails from 2010 when first employed.
@mike murphy Let us remember that these are the folk who achieved a massive improvement in graduation rates by reducing the denominator (the number of students considered eligible.)
In many school districts, across the country, administrators who meet graduation goals can get cash bonuses