RENO, Nev. – In its ongoing efforts to force the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority (Authority) to comply with the Nevada Public Records Act, the National Coalition for Public School Options’ (PSO) was granted the right to depose Authority officials by Carson City District Court.
“This state authority is simply out of control,” said Nevada PSO parent leader Jay Schuler. “The people of Nevada have a right to know about the improper relationship between the National Association for Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) and the Authority, and how it’s hurting Nevada. Today is a major step forward in forcing the Authority to stop hiding the truth from students, families, lawmakers and taxpayers.”
The court previously ruled the Authority violated the Nevada Public Records Act. PSO had sought to take a deposition from the Authority about missing public records involving its relationship with NACSA, but the agency refused to comply. NACSA is a national organization that advocates for the adoption of specific state charter school policies and is an Authority vendor.
The following is the timeline that led to today’s hearing and outcome:
- In May 2018, PSO filed a records request for any and all communication between the Authority and NACSA. The Authority refused.
- In a December 2018 letter to the Interim Finance Committee, Authority Board Chair Jason Guinasso cited grave concerns about Authority leadership.
- In December 2018, a document request conducted in another state found that NACSA had personally paid a key Authority staff person $4,000 to be a “coach” in its “leadership program.” The Authority claimed no such documents existed, prompting the PSO to file suit.
- In October 2019, the First Judicial District Court of Nevada entered a default judgment, specifically holding that the Authority had violated the Nevada Public Records Act. Default judgments against a state agency are exceptionally rare. The court also ordered the Authority to reimburse PSO’s legal fees and costs. Despite the ruling, the Authority remained delinquent, ignoring court orders to produce all communications it had with NACSA.
“This is a battle for transparency that should concern all Nevada taxpayers, lawmakers and the governor, who ran on cleaning up out-of-control state agencies,” Schuler said. “As a parent, I’m astonished at the lack of moral obligation the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority has shown when representing the best interests of Nevada students.”
All documents can be found in the following link: https://publicschooloptions.org/nevada-public-records-request.
For more information about the National Coalition for Public School Options visit www.publicschooloptions.org or follow PSO on Twitter at @pubschoolops and on Facebook at @PublicSchoolOptions.org.