Education, Michigan Democrats — August 19, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Democrat on Michigan Senate Education Committee forced to file FOIA request for school info


Are you KIDDING me???

Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood | Courtesy photo

Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood sits on the Senate Education Committee and has been trying to get information about the Education Achievement Authority and the schools under its purview. The EAA is a collection of the state’s worst performing schools and Hopgood along with others have been critical about the district’s performance. When he asked for “enrollment, attendance, expulsion and classroom-safety information”, the EAA did not provide it and instructed him to file a Freedom of Information Act request.

“I think it’s disappointing. You shouldn’t have to” resort to FOIA as a legislator, Hopgood said. Hopgood said the information should have been granted to him as a lawmaker crafting policy on the authority. EAA officials said the requested information doesn’t exist. […]

Hopgood, in his FOIA appeal, said his original request was specific enough to retrieve all requested information. He argued the release of partial student enrollment data suggests additional attendance data should be available, for example.

This is a clear effort to stymie Senator Hopgood in his efforts to hold the EAA accountable and their obstruction verges on offensive. In fact, even Republicans think it’s offensive.

State Reps. Cindy Denby, R-Handy Township, and Bill Rogers, R-Genoa Township, said they have not used FOIA to obtain information.

Rogers said he was mostly denied information he sought during his first two years in the House when Republicans were the minority party in that chamber.

“I have never had to use a FOIA. In fact I’m offended that he (Hopgood) would have to,” said Rogers, who chairs the House K-12 school aid appropriations subcommittee.

“We’re elected officials. We’re dealing with these departments,” he added. “We need the information.”

More lack of transparency from the Snyder administration. While it shouldn’t surprise me, this is such a blatant power move that it actually does. If they are trying to hide things, it certainly begs the question as to why. If everything is on the up and up, why throw up roadblocks to our elected officials?

I suppose the answer is obvious.