PA Supreme Court to force PIAA to comply with Right-to-Know Law for contracts

*Correction, title*

21 February 2024- Following a strong decision from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Treasurer Stacy Garrity today called on the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) to immediately comply with the Right-to-Know Law (RTKL) by posting its contracts to Treasury’s Contracts e-Library.

“For the past 15 years, the PIAA has violated the Right-to-Know Law by not posting a single contract to the Contracts e-Library. That changes now.”
 Pennsylvania State Treasurer Stacy Garrity

Treasurer Garrity sent a letter to the PIAA today, notifying the agency that Treasury is prepared to work with them to get its contracts posted online promptly, and that she believes a reasonable timeline would have its contracts posted no later than March 29.

“The General Assembly wisely chose to make the PIAA subject to the Right-to-Know Law in 2008. Our student athletes and their parents deserve transparency from the agency that regulates middle school and high school athletics across our state.”
 Pennsylvania State Treasurer Stacy Garrity

The Supreme Court’s majority decision in PIAA v. Campbell, authored by Justice Sallie Updyke Mundy, found that the RTKL clearly and appropriately lists the PIAA as a “state-affiliated entity.” Justice Mundy noted that the “PIAA plays a vital role in managing an important aspect of the education of middle- and high-school students in Pennsylvania” and concluded that “PIAA’s records are therefore public records to the extent they are not exempt” under the RTKL.

In a concurring opinion, Justice David N. Wecht listed some of the many aspects of a student athlete’s life regulated by the PIAA. He concluded that the “PIAA has become the functional equivalent of a government regulatory agency performing the public function of controlling or affecting nearly every aspect of athletics in public schools.”

More than 100 state agencies have posted more than 500,000 contracts, purchase orders and amendments to the Contracts e-Library since it was created by the RTKL in 2008.

Today’s Supreme Court decision followed decisions by the Office of Open Records and the Commonwealth Court, both of which also found that the PIAA is subject to the RTKL.