A 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.
This is our second blog post on this case, and reflects an updated ruling in a case that was issued March 1, 2016. Please read this message carefully, as you may want to take action regarding your student’s education records.
In her March 1 order, U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly Mueller noted the large number of objections to the potential release of student data received by the court following the posting of the Notice of Disclosure of Student Records on February 1, 2016. The March 1 order now places more stringent conditions on the release of data.
State Superintendent of Education Torlakson’s messages regarding this matter: http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr16/yr16rel18.asp
In regard to the latest ruling Torlakson said: “The court has heard loud and clear from California’s families that they want their students’ privacy protected. This is a good first step. The court responded to these concerns and ordered additional measures to safeguard data. The California Department of Education will continue to fight vigorously to protect student privacy rights as this case proceeds.”
BACKGROUND: 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.
The Berkeley Unified School Ddistrict 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 statewide, including additional data on special education students statewide since Jan. 1, 2008.
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.