File - Classroom

(The Center Square) – A Minnesota school district billed a group $900,000 to fulfill a public records request about Critical Race Theory (CRT) in its curriculum.

A law firm representing parent group Equality in Education filed a records request with Rochester Public Schools in southern Minnesota to disclose materials mentioning CRT, the Daily Caller reported.

Wenyuan Wu tweeted: “Serious ask: is it normal for a Minnesota school district to ask $901k for a public records request on its CRT, DEI, SEL ... practices?”

Wu tweeted the district’s response letter from a law firm responding to the 41-page data request.

The district estimated the request would require 13,478 hours of work billed at the lowest employee wage rate would total $901,121. That equals 561 days – more than a year of work.

Rochester Public School District hasn’t yet responded to a request for comment.

Despite being more than 40 years old, CRT has evolved to a flashpoint between political parties over the past year.

CRT holds that “the law and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist insofar as they function to create and maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites, especially African Americans,” according to Britannica.

CRT scholars allege many societal problems are rooted in the country's white majority using laws and other power to suppress the non-white population, whether consciously or subconsciously.

CRT opponents claim its conclusions rely on anecdotes and storytelling, rather than a comprehensive examination of evidence. They say its supporters focus on disproportionate outcomes from those individual stories, incorrectly drawing conclusions about institutional racism and white privilege and failing to take into account strides that the nation has made toward racial equality.

CRT is one of many issues that have increased parent participation in school board meetings and curriculum since 2020. 

Staff Reporter

Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.