Court Orders Records to be Opened in School District of Philadelphia Right-to-Know Case

January 13, 2022 – This case involves a request for records under the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law (“RTKL”). We represent Laurie Mazer a mother of two children enrolled in the School District of Philadelphia (“District”) and a community activist who advocates for a more equitable public education system. She submitted a RTKL request for records showing how the District developed and implemented its new school-selection system for magnet schools. The District initially resisted releasing any information except for documents already publicly available on its website.

After Ms. Mazer initiated an appeal to OOR, the District produced hundreds of pages of emails and attachments relating to the new system, many of which it heavily redacted. Ms. Mazer argued to OOR that the District must produce unredacted copies of emails between its internal personnel and external private consultants. OOR agreed with Ms. Mazer and ordered the District to produce these emails in unredacted form.

The District then filed an appeal which the Law Center argued on Ms. Mazer’s behalf earlier this month. The court affirmed OOR’s opinion that unredacted copies should be released. The District has until February 13, 2022 to either release the requested documents or file an appeal to Commonwealth Court.