We appealed this decision to the Office of Open Records and received a favorable determination granting our request. The district failed to show that the documents remained internal, as must be proven under the Right to Know Law to establish the exception needed to keep the documents from being released. In fact, it appeared that the district shared the requested document with the William Penn Foundation, an outside entity. The district has not affirmatively denied that the documents were shared externally. Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court and the Office of Open Records have routinely ruled that agencies cannot withhold documents on this basis if they have been shared outside of the originating agency.
Right to Know Request: Philadelphia School Closing Information
Parents United requested the list of proposed school closures and the factors used to determine that list under Pennsylvania’s Right to Know law. The list was prepared by the Boston Consulting Group with funding from the William Penn Foundation. The district partially denied the request, refusing to release the information noting such records as internal documents that fell under the law’s predecisional exemption.