in Houston, Texas
Clint ISD refuses to turn over documents on property transaction for new high school
Tuesday, Sep 11, 2012, 04:34PM CST
By Curt Olson
for sale

Clint Independent School District officials refuse to release information about a land purchase for a new high school, even though they sealed the deal four years ago.

The district claims it can’t reveal the land’s previous owner and the purchase price because of “certain legal matters,” the El Paso Times reports. The newspaper and a group that recently sued the district over funding, the Paso Del Norte Civil Rights Project, are both seeking the information. Clint ISD is about 30 minutes south of El Paso.

The $45 million in construction costs for the 600-student, 65-acre campus will be borne by state and local taxpayers. The school opened a few weeks ago.

Joel White, a First Amendment attorney with the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, doesn’t accept Clint ISD’s argument, telling the Times, “There is absolutely no plausible explanation why they would not produce the contract, how much they paid for it and most of what has been asked to be produced. Even with the potential of litigation, things like contracts or basic transactions should not be withheld.”

***
Contact Curt Olson at curt@texaswatchdog.org or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.

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Photo by flickr user Ian Muttoo, used via a Creative Commons license.

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