"Pro-voucher group suing Ohio district over list of students"

A school district is wrongly shielding names and addresses of students from an organization that promotes options to traditional public schools, according to a lawsuit before the Ohio Supreme Court attracting interest from several statewide education groups.

Columbus-based School Choice Ohio says it has long obtained the information through public records requests to districts around Ohio. It then uses the data to alert parents to scholarships — sometimes referred to as vouchers — that poor students and others can use to attend private institutions in the state.

After providing the information in the past, Springfield city schools is now refusing to hand over the data. The Supreme Court planned a hearing Tuesday.

Springfield is improperly citing federal privacy laws as it refuses to release the information, School Choice Ohio said.

A government entity can only use a federal law to deny records if the law “actually prohibits it from doing so,” according to a Jan. 15, 2015, filing by David Movius, an attorney representing School Choice Ohio. But that’s not true in this case, he said.

“The Court should reject Springfield’s cynical attempt to avoid competition and preserve its state funding by keeping its students and their families ignorant of their options under Ohio law,” Movius said.

Click here to read the entire Associated Press story on www.ohio.com 

NOTE: This Associated Press story also ran in Education Week, the Columbus DispatchSpringfield News-Sun, and Toledo ABC TV.

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