Freedom of Information Law or FOIL requests, can be made to the NYCDOE by anyone seeking record documents pertaining to the central office, specific district or local school. All you need to do is to send an e-mail to the Central Record Access Officer Joseph Baranello, giving a description of the documents you are seeking and informing him that you wish to inspect them, or receive copies, pursuant to the New York Freedom of Information Law. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, copy your e-mail to email@example.com.
For more information, you can access Chancellor's Regulation D-110 on the NYCDOE website or click the link on this site. It will give you specific guidelines and list any restictions in providing documents.
The Central Record Access Officer must respond to your request within five days. The response will acknowledge receipt of your request and state a time frame for searching and producing the documents. There is a cost of 25 cents per page for printing unless you request and they are able to e-mail the documents.
FOIL can be a very powerful tool to inspect or obtain copies of documents that school officials might not want to share pertaining to budgets, school leadership and district leadership teams( ex. Minutes, DLT CEP's), attendance, graduation and other statistics.
Try asking for the records at your local school, district or central office first. If they are not cooperative or give you the "runaround", submit a FOIL request.
For a copy of FOIL, see: http://www.dos.state.ny.us/coog/foil2.html