Oct. 26, 2007 · A federal judge in Washington, D.C., rejected the Department of Education’s arguments for withholding District of Columbia school voucher program documents from the People for the American Way Foundation.
In May 2004, the group asked the department to release various documents about one of its voucher programs. In response, the department released nearly 2,000 pages of relevant documentation. According to the group, after the response from the agency changed for subsequent requests after the group published a report critical of the program.
When the department failed to respond to a second FOIA request seeking more information about the program, the group filed suit to obtain the records.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the documents sent between the District of Columbia and the Department of Education could not be withheld because the District of Columbia is not a federal agency or federal consultant.
The judge ordered the department to go back and create a detailed index of the information it still wants to withhold.
People for the American Way Foundation praised the court’s decision in a statement on the group’s Web site.
“It’s a victory for all those concerned with government accountability and the use of public funds to subsidize religious and other private education.”
(People For The American Way Foundation v. U.S. Department of Education) — Saira Anees