Please read this message carefully, as you may want to take action regarding your student’s education records. The action you may take is to file an objection to the release of your student’s data — this is incorrectly being characterized as an Opt-Out form in some communications. Note that the deadline for action is April 1, 2016.
A recent lawsuit against the California Department of Education (CDE) is having an impact on all school districts across the state, including ours. The case has received significant attention from the media, so we want to provide you with more information on how it might affect families in our district.
In April 2012, two organizations, the Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association and the Concerned Parent Association, filed a lawsuit against the CDE alleging non-compliance by local education agencies with special education laws. The lawsuit also alleges the CDE fails to monitor, investigate and correct such non-compliance in accordance with the law. The CDE denies these allegations and is actively defending the litigation.
Our district was not involved in the lawsuit and is not the subject of any of the suit’s allegations. Nonetheless, as a part of this lawsuit, CDE has been ordered by the court to release all data it has collected on all students, including additional data on special education students statewide since Jan. 1, 2008.
NOTE: The CDE will produce documents in the context of the litigation with individual student identification removed and subject to a protective order (according to CDE, documents won’t become part of the Court’s public records and they will likely be returned or destroyed at the end of litigation).
For more information regarding the release of this data, visit this CDE website. You may also contact the California Department of Education at 916-319-0800.
Parents/Guardians (and Students who are now-older-than-18) may complete and mail in an Objection Form to the judge presiding over the case regarding the release of student data: http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/di/ws/documents/form2016jan26.pdf. This must be done by April 1, 2016.
Note there is not an Opt-Out form — the objection form was created by the CDE so that parents could “object to the disclosure by the California Department of Education of protected personal information ….” According to the court order, personal data will be stripped out of the databases (which contain millions of records).
State Superintendent of Education Torlakson’s messages regarding this matter: http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr16/yr16rel15.asp