In a win for transparency, the city Department of Education has agreed to stop slow-walking requests under the Freedom of Information Law as part of a landmark settlement with The Post. Fingers crossed that the educrats follow through.
The DOE’s vow to reform what The Post called a “pattern and practice” of endless delays should mean an end to tricks such as insisting it can legally withhold public records for years, as long as it sends monthly letters extending its own deadlines.
Now the department has agreed to follow the legal timelines, or explain why it can’t.
The Village Voice reported last year that the DOE’s average response time on public-records requests was 103 days, the longest for any city agency, and three times the NYPD’s 34-day average.
Mind you, that includes a host of Post FOIL requests which took 20 months or more. That meant the public had to wait nearly two years to learn, for example, about the dozens of administrators and staff getting paid six figures under Mayor de Blasio’s Renewal Schools program.
And to hear about the $2 million DOE paid for 42 outside-leadership coaches in the 2015-16 school year (and a similar amount the next year), as well as shocking details on school-bus drivers’ discipline records.
In many cases, The Post had to go to court to get any records at all.
As public advocate, de Blasio gave the DOE a “D” for its balky FOIL responses. But he plainly forgot all about it as mayor.
The Post didn’t — and won’t. Expect more scoops on trouble in the schools.