The Clarion-Ledger challenges Dept. of Ed records denial

The Clarion-Ledger on Tuesday filed a complaint against the Mississippi Department of Education for refusing to disclose which vendors responded to the agency’s request for proposals on a multi-million-dollar contract.

The newspaper is challenging MDE’s reasons for withholding the names, because MDE cannot cite any legally allowed exemption to the Mississippi Public Records Act…

…The Clarion-Ledger on March 17th requested the names of vendors vying for a multi-year contract to administer statewide assessments to tens of thousands of elementary and secondary public school students in Mississippi.

MDE plans to announce its preferred vendor to the state Board of Education on Thursday – one month after receiving the proposals and three weeks after denying the newspaper’s public records request.

The deal is worth an estimated $8.4 million per year, based on the amount of the current one-year contract, which MDE awarded under emergency provisions to Pearson in September.