Updated: Aug 31, 2021
Superintendent Truitt's office gives Progressive media documents for free but wants to charge our parents thousands.
A few months, we made a public records request with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) as a part of our investigation into members of DPIs staff enriching themselves from critical race theory training services while working at the department. Part of our request sought documents connected to foriegn funding of critical race theory in North Carolina Public. Schools. Specifically, we requested a copy of the contract between the Oak Foundation and the State School Board and James Ford so we could publish a follow up to our reporting from May.
As readers will recall, last summer, school board member James Ford and the North Carolina Board of Education was reportedly awarded part of a $1.4M grant from Switzerland-based Oak Foundation to "combat structural racism within the education system" in North Carolina.
According to the grant, the money will be used for:
Re-training teachers to educate through an "equity" and "culturally responsive" lens
Influencing the school system to adopt policies that guarantee equal outcomes among all students
Transforming students and families into activists against "systemic racism"
Now DPI officials are charging us a $1,500 a fee for "legal and IT costs" related to sending us public documents related to Oak Foundation's payments to the State School Board.
A journalist at the Soros-funded group NC Policy Watch, on the other hand, had no problem getting Superintendent Truitt's DPI to turn over 157 emails from parents concerned with critical race theory. This week, we confirmed with Gregg Childers that these emails came from DPI at no cost.
North Carolina’s Public Records Law, processing fees are prohibited unless a request involves “extensive use of labor. ” But for DPI, all records requests are not equal.
The public has the right to know about foreign funding of our school system. EFA is pursuing other avenues to get these documents.