A public school district in Minnesota told a law firm representing concerned parents that it could cost upwards of $901,121.15 to complete a government records request, according to communications obtained by the Daily Caller.
An attorney at Mohrman, Kaardal, & Erickson in Minneapolis sent a Government Data Practices Act Request to the interim superintendent at Rochester Public School District in Minnesota on Sept. 20. The request was made on behalf of “Equality in Education,” a concerned parents association.
The request asked the Rochester Public School District to release information on the development of curriculum, conferences, or seminars for teachers and students related to “equity and social justice topics often referred to as Critical Race Theory.”
The request called for records dating back to Jan. 2020 in elementary, middle, and high school, according to the Mohrman, Kaardal, & Erickson letter. Specific words that the group was concerned about included “equity, social justice, cultural competency, race, intersectionality, or CRT.” Many of these concepts are linked to the core tenets of critical race theory.
“Equality in Education” asked the school district to provide the record by Dec. 15, though the organization’s legal representation said it would be open to a deadline extension so long as the district kept the organization updated.
On Nov. 12, an attorney representing the district said that it would cost “Equality in Education” $901,121.15 to obtain the records and they must prepay before the district completes their request. (RELATED: Georgia Public School System Shelled Out More Than $95,000 For Panorama Education Survey)
Serious ask: is it normal for a Minnesota school district to ask $901k for a public records request on its CRT, DEI, SEL… practices? pic.twitter.com/bY1tRGY3a4
— Wenyuan Wu, Ph.D. (@wu_wenyuan) November 27, 2021
Michael Waldspurger, the district’s legal representative, said that “prepayment” would be required before the request could be processed.
“The district will require prepayment before processing your request further,” Waldspurger said. “If the actual cost ends up being less than the estimated cost, the District will refund the difference. If the actual cost ends up being more than the estimated cost, your firm will be responsible for the difference.”
The Rochester Public School District did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.