Bzdek: Why won’t Colorado’s public schools answer to the public?

The Denver Gazette: In the midst of a nationwide push by parents for more say over what’s going on in their schools, Colorado school districts are going the opposite direction, doubling down on secret meetings and backdoor deals and stonewalling urgent requests for information from the very people they are supposed to serve.

If it weren’t for the efforts of media outlets to force these districts to reveal some of the important discussions and decisions happening behind closed doors, students and parents would be even more in the dark than they are.

The appetite for the truth is so strong right now that Denver Gazette education reporter Nico Brambila has tallied 105 Open Records requests that 22 Denver media outlets have filed for information from Denver Public Schools since March 22. These requests cover everything from public safety plans, weapons seized, incidents of violence and decision-making by board members. Despite the declared public policy of the state “that all public records shall be open for inspection by any person at reasonable times,” we’re still waiting to hear back on most of our requests.

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