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Judge orders state education department to release records

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A judge has ordered Wisconsin’s education department to release records it withheld from a conservative legal group that requested them.

Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess on Friday ordered the state Department of Public Instruction to immediately turn over the documents. The judge says they were “unjustifiably” withheld.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty sued on Thursday.

Department spokesman Tom McCarthy says it has been working to fulfill the request and the judge’s order “changes nothing about how we plan to respond.”

WILL sought records in August regarding the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, which requires the agency to create an education accountability system.

The lawsuit first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the education department provided some records, but declined to fulfill other parts of the request, saying it wasn’t specific enough and too burdensome.

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