Important Update: Disclosure of student information
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Important update and guidance for LEAs regarding privacy of student data
In light of a recent court order that could result in the release by the California Department of Education (CDE) of up to 10 million student records to attorneys for a parent advocacy group, the California School Boards Association reaffirms its commitment to student privacy, its willingness to help families protect sensitive student information, and its intent to clarify some of the confusion surrounding this development.
In February, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that, in order to determine whether California school districts are providing appropriate special education services, student records maintained by the CDE must be released to plaintiff’s attorneys in the case of Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association v. California Department of Education. The Court has appointed a special master to assist with the discovery process and ensure confidentiality, but the records being disclosed may contain personally identifiable student information such as social security numbers. Affected parties include all of the following:
Parents and guardians of a child with disabilities
Parents and guardians of a student who is attending or attended a California school at any time since January 1, 2008
- Anyone over the age of 18 who is currently attending a California school or attended a California school since January 1, 2008
Process for parents or students to object to disclosure
Those who object to disclosing this data can request an exemption using the form “Objection to Disclosure of Student Information and Records Case No. 2:11-CV-03471,” found at the CDE website under Objections to Disclosure of Student Records. As an alternative, a parent, guardian, or former student can write a confidential letter to the presiding judge including the name of the student on whose behalf the letter is written, the author's name and relationship to the student, the student's date of birth, county, school district, and school, and, if desired, the basis of the objection.
Both letters and objection forms should be mailed to:
The Honorable Kimberly J. Mueller c/o Clerk of the Court, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, 501 I Street, Room 4-200, Sacramento, CA 95814.
Objections must be received by the court by April 1, 2016.