I'm trying to figure out whether House Bill 1030 is nice, nefarious, or even necessary. HB 1030 would add the following text to our statutes governing public school teacher evaluations:

Any record or document, regardless of physical form, created by a public school, public school district, or any other school in connection with the evaluation of an individual teacher, principal, or other school employee constitutes personnel information and is not open to inspection or copying pursuant to subdivision 1-27-1.5(7).

Let me put on my best tinfoil hat: I think Attorney General Marty Jackley asked the Department of Education to request this bill in an attempt to catch me in self-interested inconsistency on public records laws. Clever!

I'm open to a debate about whether a public school teacher's job evaluations should be open to public review. But I wonder if existing statute already makes those evaluations confidential. SDCL 13-42-34 already requires public schools to evaluate their teaching personnel. Any documents created in that personnel evaluation process would seem to be personnel information. SDCL 1-27-1.5 exempts personnel information from public release.

So unless I'm missing some important legal challenge or precedent (here's your invitation, dear readers, to prove me wrong!), House Bill 1030 appears to be unnecessary.