Update on the Morgan Hill lawsuit
SDUSD asked us to share this information:
Please see below for an important update on the Morgan Hill lawsuit relating to release of confidential student data. For background on the case and instructions on how to file an objection, please read the Newscenter article posted Feb. 17 or visit the California Department of Education website.
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.
In response to the objections, the court ordered that the California Department of Education maintain custody of the most sensitive of its databases, the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS), while running searches for information requested by the plaintiffs. The court also reiterated that no student personally identifiable information may be released to the plaintiffs unless and until they demonstrate to the satisfaction of the court that the method to be used to store the sensitive student data is secure. The parties are still litigating the extent of the disclosure of student data.
As we alerted you last month (Feb. 17), parents, guardians and former students over 18 have the opportunity to object to the data release by printing out, completing, and mailing to the court the Objection to Disclosure of Student Information and Records form or sending a confidential letter to the judge. The forms and letters are due by April 1, 2016.
Judge Mueller’s March 1 order made clear that the objection forms are not a means to “opt-out” of any data release. The court also noted that it “has not and cannot realistically review the objections individually” due to the volume of the objections it has received. Therefore, the court will consider “the objections in bulk as objecting strongly to public disclosure of personal identifying information contained in the CDE’s educational records.” The court will maintain the objection forms in sealed boxes in a secure room at the federal court building in Sacramento.
The March 1 court order follows a February 29 special status hearing in the lawsuit filed by two organizations, the Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association and the Concerned Parents Association, against the CDE that dates to 2011 alleging systemic failure by the CDE to monitor the provision of special education by school districts, in violation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The CDE denies these allegations.
Our district was not involved in the lawsuit and is not the subject of any of the suit’s allegations.
For more information regarding the release of this data and how you can file an objection with the court to consider not releasing your data, visit: http://www.cde.ca.gov/morganhillcase. You may also contact the California Department of Education at 916-319-0800.