City Schools to Un-Redact Report in Fox45 Lawsuit
Major developments in Project Baltimore’s ongoing public records lawsuit against Baltimore City Public Schools. Monday, North Avenue agreed to un-redact more than 100 pages that had previously been fully blacked out.
Nearly a year ago, Fox45 sued City Schools to get the results of its internal investigation into possible grade changing at Northwood Appold Community Academy II, or NACA II. The school in northeast Baltimore had come under fire following a Fox45 investigation.
In October, the school system handed over more than 300 pages from its report. But more than 100 of those pages were entirely redacted. Now, City Schools has agreed to un-redact those documents allowing the public and taxpayers to read them.
It has been a long battle getting to this point. In the summer of 2017, Fox45 first reported on possible grade changing at NACA II. We spoke to teachers who said students were being pushed through the system and graduating without the skills they need to get a job.
North Avenue then launched an internal investigation and found the allegations unsubstantiated. So, Fox45 filed a public records request to see the report. In November 2017, City Schools denied the request and released nothing. Project Baltimore felt the public had a right to see how seriously North Avenue took the grade changing allegations. Last December, Fox45 sued.
Over the past year, North Avenue has slowly released parts of the report. But from the start, Fox45 stated that it wanted the whole thing. It appears that may now happen.
“This case amazes me,” says attorney Scott Marder, who is representing Project Baltimore in this case. “Instead of capitulating upfront. They capitulated little by little by little to the very end of the case.”
Marder went on to say, “It makes no sense to me. They should have given you all the documents upfront. It would have cost them a whole lot less money.”
The judge gave City Schools two weeks to hand over the unredacted pages. A trial has been set for February 11, 2019 to hash out any remaining disagreements.