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Judge says DPI was wrong to filter information it released on School Choice results

The Brillion News

JEFFERSON, Wis. - Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Bennett Brantmeier on Friday, September 18, ruled that the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI) broke state law when it released incomplete data on Wisconsin's School Choice Program to a "select list of media" ahead of a public relese of information in September of 2019.

Judge Brantmeier imposed an order requiring the DPI to stop providing complete information to some members of the media, but not to others.

The permanent injunction requries the DPI to stop violating state law that requires information on Wisconsiun School Choice programs be released "all at the same time, uniformly and completely."

Judge Brantmeier made his decision known in court on September 18 in an oral statement. A written decision is expected to be released at a later date.

The suit against the DPI was filed in November 2019 by the Wisconsin Insgtitute for Law & Liberty (WILL) on behalf of Empower Wisconsin reporter Matt Kittle, after he learned that some media had been given preferential treatment when the data was released by the DPI.

"The statutes require DPI to be an honest broker when releasing academic data on the Parental Choice Program," said Jim Bender, President of School Choice Wisconsin. "This court vistory shows that DPI has being selective in their release of data to drive a biased narrative."

Bender called the ruling "a great win for transparency."

The data, when released in full, showed that students in the state's three Parental Choice programs are outperforming their low-income public school peers on ACT, Aspire and Forward standardized tests.

~ Ed Byrne/BN from information provided by Collin Roth, WILL Director of Communication


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