VDOE rejects WAVY’s FOIA request for information on distributive studies, Executive Order 1

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – As part of our investigation into the state of education in Virginia, 10 on your side submitted two requests for the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on proposed changes to the state education system in Virginia – both of which were rejected.

These requests were hoped to provide a clearer picture of the changes in classrooms in Virginia, but despite the fact that both requests were rejected by the state leadership, 10 Next to you – and therefore you at home – as before about this the changes leave many questions.

One FOIA application was sent to the governor’s office and the other to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). Both requests were rejected with one argument, He is leaving. Code § 2.2-3705.7 (2)or release of working papers.

This is an exception to Megan Ryan of the Open Virginia Government Coalition, which says it has been abused to some extent.

“If they reject you, people will reject you,” he said. “Every governor, whether they are Democrats or Republicans, has used this exemption and used it freely, although the FOIA says in its policy statement that the exemptions should be interpreted as limited.”

Ryan says the release serves as a way to protect policy-making disputes between government officials.

“You want certain people to be able to get more information and get as many different voices as possible so they can make the best decision,” Ryan said.

Most states have a privilege, but she says Virginia’s laws are much broader.

“It’s for AG, the lieutenant governor, members of the General Assembly, secretaries of ministers, as well as the president of the university, the school principals. I think it’s going to go down,” he said.

So what does this mean, because 10 on your side is trying to answer your questions about these changes?

“It’s a lot of information that people can’t see if this release is being used,” he said.

Until further steps are taken, Ryan says the judge can decide whether or not the records are kept incorrectly.

If this happens to you, if you have filed a petition, Ryan says you can go to your legislators and ask them to lobby for a change in the law.

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