A Minnesota public school district informed a law firm representing an organization of concerned parents that a completed government records request would cost more than $901,000.
An attorney at Mohrman, Kaardal, & Erickson sent a Government Data Practices Act Request to the interim superintendent at Rochester Public School District in September on behalf of concerned parent group Equality in Education, in which a request was made for the release of information regarding curriculum, conferences or seminars for teachers and students related to "equity and social justice topics often referred to as Critical Race Theory," according to communications obtained by the Daily Caller.
The request asked for records from as far back as Jan. 2020 in elementary, middle, and high school, and included concerns about words like equity, social justice, cultural competency, race, intersectionality and CRT, many of which are concepts linked to the core principles of Critical Race Theory, according to the Mohrman, Kaardal, & Erickson letter.
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
Equality in Education asked that the school district complete the request by Dec. 15, but the organization’s legal team said it would be willing to extend the deadline if the district kept the group updated.
And on Nov. 12, an attorney representing the district told the law firm that it would cost $901,121.15 for Equality in Education to obtain the desired records and noted that the request would not be completed until payment is received.
"The District has completed an extensive analysis of your 41-page, 332-paragraph data practices request," the law firm representing the school district said in a letter to Mohrman, Kaardal, & Erickson. "The District estimates that it will take 13,478 hours to search for, retrieve, and make copies of the data. Using the employee with the lowest wage rate who would have the right to search for and retrieve the data that have been requested, and applying the actual cost of making copies, the District estimates that the actual cost of searching for, retrieving, and making copies is $901,121.15."