The public records custodian for the Princeton Public Schools has extended the time for releasing public records to Planet Princeton for a third time in response to recent public records requests.
Planet Princeton filed two public records requests with the Princeton Public Schools back on Nov. 14. Under state law, a public agency has seven business days to respond to a request. The Princeton Public Schools requested more time to fill the requests on three separate occasions, and officials have now said the documents will not be ready until Dec. 18.
According to the public records custodian for the district, the public records requests generated “thousands of pages” of records.
Planet Princeton has offered to clarify or narrow down the requests to reduce the number of records and make the request more manageable because of the delays, but has not received a response from the district.
One public records request seeks each email and text message sent or received by Superintendent of Schools Steve Cochrane, Business Administrator Matthew Bouldin, and School Board President Beth Behrend between July 1 of 2019 and Nov. 14 of 2019 referencing Westminster, Rider, or WCC.
The other public records request seeks each email and text message sent or received by Behrend from Sept. 1 to Nov. 14 referencing school board member Daniel Dart, or Dart, or Dan. The request also seeks copies of each legal bill related to the Dart matter, and copies of each legal bill related to the board’s new communication policy.
Sources have told Planet Princeton that the school board leadership has forced Dart to meet with a school board lawyer over two emails he wrote. In one email, Dart expressed opinions about school district issues. In another email that was also submitted as a letter to the editor, Dart endorsed two candidates for the school board and expressed his opinion about the school board’s handling of some matters, including how the district billed sending district Cranbury for special education costs. Cranbury sends its high school students to Princeton High School.
Dart has declined to comment on the issue. Behrend also did not respond to a Nov. 18 email on the Dart issue.
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