Thursday, February 21st

MADISON - A conservative legal group sued the state Department of Public Instruction late Thursday, saying the agency improperly withheld public records and illegally told school districts not to immediately release documents.

Carolyn Stanford Taylor(Photo: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction)

A Department of Public Instruction spokesman disputed those claims and said the agency is following the records law. 

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty sought records in August regarding the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, which requires the DPI to create an education accountability system.

In November, DPI provided some records but declined to fulfill parts of the request because it said WILL’s request wasn’t specific enough and was too burdensome, according to the lawsuit. WILL filed a narrower request in December but has not received additional records.

In its suit, WILL asked Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess to order DPI to turn over the records. 

The lawsuit could be just one stage in a protracted fight.