Judicial Watch Sues DOE Over School Grants Program

Published June 14, 2017

Judicial Watch is suing the U.S. Department of Education to obtain information about a costly and ineffective program implemented during the Obama administration. From the organization’s website:

Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Education seeking records and emails on the department’s failed $7 billion School Improvement Grants (SIGs) program under the Obama administration and its effects on vouchers and school choice policy. Judicial Watch brought the action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department Education (No. 1:17-cv-01021)).

The lawsuit was filed after the Department of Education failed to respond to an April 10, 2017, FOIA request seeking:

·Any records or emails discussing the potential implications for federal voucher or school choice policy in light of the anticipated conclusions of the [Department of Education] January 2017 Report “School Improvement Grants: Implementation and Effectiveness.”

The School Improvement Grants (SIGs) are awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to state education agencies under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.  They were reauthorized in the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, and became a key part of President Barack Obama’s education policy. The program’s goal was to improve student achievement at hundreds of the lowest-performing schools in the country.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton says revealing these records will show Americans how “the billions of dollars funneled into public education programs did nothing to help children learn.” Let’s hope Judicial Watch gets the word out, and that the American Enterprise Institute’s Andy Smarick is correct in saying this program’s failure could ultimately end up being a huge boon for school choice.

SOURCE: JudicialWatch.org  


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