RPS to charge parents nearly $2,000 for Elkhardt documents

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Officials with Richmond Public Schools want to charge parents $1709.44 for more information about why Elkhardt Middle School suddenly shutdown last month.

This comes after several families of Elkhardt students took legal action against RPS, demanding to know more about the building’s mold situation.

Elkhardt Middle was forced to close due to mold last month. The students were moved to the vacant Clark Springs Elementary for the rest of the school year.

The families hired attorney Paul Goldman, who made a request through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Among the documents parents are asking for are all air quality tests at the school, any complaints about the environment, and paperwork concerning health issues.

In response, the schools say they will need more than $1,700 to fulfill the request. It’s common in FOIA requests for an entity to charge, but Goldman says this is overkill.

“Why can’t these parents of modest means, just get some public documents? Why are they going through all of this?” Goldman said.

RPS says this is standard practice. The high cost is due partially to length of time needed to gather information, all the way back to 2002.

Goldman says he will work with parents, but doesn’t plan on paying the amount of money RPS is asking for. He is still figuring out how to respond.

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