The Court’s decision, rendered in response to a pre-trial motion, orders The Board of Education to produce all records pending from education activist Nick Burt’s May 2016 FOIA request.
Burt filed suit after the Board let his request languish for months and didn’t respond to multiple requests for information made by Burt’s counsel and the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor.
“CPS fired a beloved principal a month after he brought Mayor Emanuel’s failed education policies to a national audience,” said Burt. “If these documents can shed some light on that process, that will be a benefit to the public debate about the situation in our schools.”
“There seems to be a pattern in which educators critical of Mayor Rahm Emanuel soon find they don’t have jobs in Chicago Public Schools anymore. It’s not only Troy LaRaviere, but Tim Meegan, Sarah Chambers, and others. Naturally this produces questions as to what’s being discussed at CPS behind closed doors.”
The widely regarded LaRaviere, a critic of school privatization and the mayor’s handling of Chicago’s schools, was removed from his post in April of 2016, one month after he was featured in a presidential campaign advertisement for independent Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. Burt, through attorney Daniel Massoglia of MK Law, LLC, filed Freedom of Information Act requests seeking communications among Chicago Public Schools employees about the pair.
Circuit Court Judge Sanjay Tailor ruled in Burt’s favor on each of the two counts on issue in his summary judgment motion. Burt’s third count, alleging that the Board willfully and intentionally violated the law, is pending and may go to trial.