Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Education groups accuse AG's office of 'harassment' | The Daily Gazette

Education groups accuse AG's office of 'harassment' | The Daily Gazette

Education groups accuse AG's office of 'harassment'
Over two dozen advocacy groups have been subpoenaed in statewide education funding lawsuit

Over two dozen education advocacy groups have been subpoenaed by Attorney General Tish James' office in an ongoing lawsuit challenging New York's education funding – subpoenas the groups argue detract from their core missions of serving students, parents and educators.
The groups are all member organizations of New Yorkers for Students' Educational Rights (NYSER), the lead plaintiff alleging the state's education funding system is depriving students in Schenectady and other districts across the state of a basic education.
In what an attorney for the plaintiffs called an “effort at harassment and delay,” the attorney general's office has sought extensive records from the 29 NYSER member organizations – groups that range from the influential New York State School Boards Association, New York State Parent Teachers Association and New York State Council of School Superintendents to small advocacy groups with staffs of two or three people and a handful of New York City's local community education councils.
The groups, which argue they are not party to the underlying lawsuit but rather members of NYSER, have objected to the subpoenas as overly broad, burdensome and seeking irrelevant information. In interviews, leaders of some of the groups said if they were forced to fully comply with the subpoenas, their education-focused advocacy work would be diminished. Subpoenas are a legal tool used in lawsuits to compel the production of documents and testimony.
“Not only would it obviously detract from our core mission, but the time and attention (to comply with the subpoena), given the number of staff people we have, would bring things to a halt for a substantial period of time,” said David Little, executive director of the Rural Schools Association of New York State, an organization with a three-person staff.
Little estimated hiring outside lawyers and experts to comply with the subpoena CONTINUE READING: Education groups accuse AG's office of 'harassment' | The Daily Gazette

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