2-3-2015 Alerts

2 Critical Items: HB 163 and HB 68 below are critical that you email the House Education Committee right now a quick note of support for those bills. Make them separate brief emails with good clear subject lines. See this page for the email addresses to send to and tips.

Senate Education Committee-This first bill already passed out of committee but it should be modified to be based on enrollment, not attendance for the reasons Morgan outlined. Please email Senator Harper. Not critical but important.

SB0106> CLASS SIZE REDUCTION PROGRAM AMENDMENTS (Wayne A. Harper)

  • General Description: This bill amends provisions related to class size reduction in public schools.
  • Highlighted Provisions:

o   amends the distribution formula for the Class Size Reduction Program (Program) to distribute certain program money to qualifying local education agencies;

  • Creates the Class Size Reduction Program, which is really just a significantly changed and renamed version of a previously existing un-named program.
  • (3) (a) The board shall distribute the first $115,000,000 of the money appropriated for the program to LEAs based upon prior year average daily membership in kindergarten through grade 8…

Morgan: OPPOSED

o   Does not take into account excused absences and therefore unjustly increases pressure on schools to abandon their legal and moral duties to be secondary and supportive of Parents by pressuring them to refuse to approve or punish Parent excused absences lest they lose funding.  Increasing the funding of such programs will only increase the pressure on the schools to undermine the parents, unless we remove excused absences from the equation.

 

House Education Committee
Wed, Feb 4, 2:00 pm-3:50 pm

30 House Building

  1. HB0163 STUDENT DATA BREACH REQUIREMENTS   (John Knotwell)
  • General Description: This bill amends provisions related to student data privacy.
  • Highlighted Provisions:

o   requires an education entity to make notification if there is a release of personally identifiable student data due to a security breach; and

  • Broadens legal requirement to protect student privacy to include the State Board of Education, third-party contractors, and the education entities themselves (not just their agents and employees).
  • An education entity shall notify the parent or guardian of a student if there is a release of the student’s personally identifiable student data due to a security breach.

 

Morgan SUPPORT

This bill strengthens accountability of the SEAs, LEA,s and third-party providers to the students. An accountability which hardly exists today.

This bill gives students the ability to protect themselves after a data breach of sensitive information such as social security numbers, addresses, and names. If they don’t know the information has been leaked they don’t know to protect themselves. It is considered common practice to have a policy/law in place to inform victims of the theft of their personal data.

 

  1. HB0124 EDUCATION BACKGROUND CHECK AMENDMENTS (Stephen G. Handy)
  • General Description: This bill modifies provisions regarding criminal background checks.
  • Highlighted Provisions:

o   clarifies and amends background check provisions for licensed educators and employees or volunteers who work at local education agencies and certain private schools;

o   amends the Public Safety Code to allow certain qualifying entities to request that the Bureau of Criminal Identification within the Department of Public Safety  (bureau) register fingerprints taken for the purpose of conducting a criminal background check with certain systems;

o   amends background check provisions for charter school governing board members;

o   requires an entity that is authorized to request a background check under the provisions of this bill (authorized entity) to register fingerprints of certain individuals with certain systems for ongoing monitoring;

o   requires the bureau to notify an authorized entity when a new entry is made against an individual whose fingerprints are registered with certain systems regarding any alleged offense or a conviction, including a plea in abeyance;

o   removes the requirement that a local education agency or qualifying private school require certain individuals to periodically submit to a criminal background check;

o   provides that authorized entities may only consider certain offenses when making employment, appointment, or licensing decisions;

o   requires certain individuals to self-report criminal history information to authorized entities in accordance with rules established by the State Board of Education;

o   requires the State Board of Education and the bureau to collaborate to provide training to authorized entities;

o   requires the State Board of Education to update certain rules;

o   requires a local school board or charter school governing board to update certain policies;

  • requires the Legislative Auditor General to issue a report; and
  • makes technical and conforming changes.
  • Amendment 1 House Committee amendment: A small change.

Morgan OPPOSE:

Registers fingerprints of teachers, administrators, and school volunteers with both an FBI database, and a multi-state database (likely third party like WICHE) for continuous background checks. Meaning they want to know if you’ve been convicted for/accused of a crime in another state immediately.

This seems way over the top. Why isn’t an initial background check enough? Why is fingerprinting so necessary? Would volunteer parents be subject to fingerprinting? If we can’t trust parents who can we trust?

 

  1. HB0119 CHARTER SCHOOL FINANCE AMENDMENTS (Bradley G. Last)
  • General Description: This bill modifies funding for charter schools.
  • Highlighted Provisions:

o    requires a school district to allocate 25% of district per pupil revenues for each student of the school district who is enrolled in a charter school regardless of the charter school students’ average local revenues.

  • Entire change:

(4) (a) (i) A school district shall allocate a portion of school district revenues for each resident student of the school district who is enrolled in a charter school on October 1 equal to 25% of the [lesser of: (A)] district per pupil local revenues[; or]. [(B) charter school students’ average local revenues.]

 

  1. HB0068 STUDENT PRIVACY ACT (Jacob L. Anderegg)
  • General Description: This bill creates the Student Privacy Act and addresses the release of public school student information.
  • Highlighted Provisions:

o   requires certain people to protect student privacy;

o   allows a student or the student’s parent to authorize the collection and release of certain student data;

o   prohibits an education entity from releasing a student’s personally identifiable information under certain circumstances;

o   allows an education entity to release a student’s personally identifiable information under certain circumstances;

o   prohibits a school district from eliciting certain information from students;

o   provides what kinds of student data may be collected and under what circumstances;

o   requires an education entity to provide a student data disclosure to parents and students at the beginning of each school year or at the time a student enrolls with the education entity;

o   establishes requirements for the State Board of Education related to the collection, usage, and storage of student data;

o   requires the State Board of Education to designate a student privacy coordinator to oversee the protection of student data;

o   requires an education entity or third party contractor to collect, use, and store data in accordance with certain security measures;

o   establishes penalties; and

o   makes technical changes.

  • (3) “Allowable student data” means the following student data that an education entity may collect and include in a student’s educational record without student authorization:

(a)  name;

(b)  date of birth;

(c)   gender;

(d)   parent or guardian information;

(e)  contact information;

(f)   a public student identification number;

(g)  state and national assessment results;

(h)  courses taken and completed, credits earned, and other transcript information;

(i)    course grades and grade point average;

(j)    grade level and expected graduation date or graduation cohort;

(k)  degree, diploma, credential attainment, and other school exit information;

(l)    attendance and mobility;

(m) drop-out data;

(n)  an immunization record, including a record of an exemption from immunization; and

(o)  ethnicity.

  • (11) (a) “Prohibited student data” means student data that may not be collected by and education entity.

 (b) “Prohibited student data” includes a student’s:

(i) juvenile delinquency records;

(ii) criminal records;

(iii) Social Security number; and

 (iv) biometric information.

  • (2) (a) A student owns the student’s personally identifiable information.

Morgan: STRONGLY SUPPORTS

This bill makes huge strides in the protection of student data. There are a few changes I would make, this bill offers more than I could have hoped for with a single bill, and so I fully support it.  This bill

  • gives ownership of personally identifiable information to the student.
  • Allows schools to share data but severely limits the data education entities are allowed to collect and gives opt-out options to students for a significant amount of the data– so schools can only share so much.
  • Gives a strong legal framework with which to close loopholes – such as teacher collected data and data collected directly by third-parties, and data elements not specifically mentioned.
  • Prohibits collection of certain unethical student data elements.
  • Establishes $25k civil penalty for violations.
  • Limits what a third party entity can do with data it receives
  • Requires the Board to make public their data dictionary and data elements.

This bill establishes comprehensive restrictions on the data produced by and for students within the public education system. It also affirms that any personally identifiable information is owned not by the state, but by the student.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. As technology increasingly works it way into public schools, massive amounts of data are being collected for each student, and if given the opportunity, the government and third party entities would use it to their advantage in ways that may be detrimental to the student. Restrictions are needed to prevent abuse and invasions of privacy.

 

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