Update: Court Ordered Release of Student Information - Morgan Hill Case

March 4, 2016

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Today, in a press release issued by the California Department of Education (CDE), State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson applauded the federal court order strengthening protections for student data in the case of Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association vs. California Department of Education.

According to the CDE press release, "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," Torlakson said. "The California Department of Education will continue to fight vigorously to protect student privacy rights as this case proceeds."

Per the CDE press release, 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 CDE 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.

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. Instructions and the objection forms are available at the CDE Web site here. The forms and letters are due by April 1, 2016.

For additional information, read the full press release.

The suit, Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association, et.al. v. CDE (Case # 2:11-cv-03471-KJM-EFB), filed by two parent organizations, alleges that the CDE is systematically failing to provide students with disabilities their statutory entitlement to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). The court had ordered the CDE to release this information with a protective order that prevents the parties from disclosing confidential student information to anyone other than their attorneys, consultants, and the court. The suit is being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in Sacramento.

Read the article in the San Jose Mercury News, "Judge backtracks on release of California student records."

Read "Court Ordered Release of Student Information."

El 4 de marzo de 2016, en un comunicado de prensa emitido por el Departamento de Educación de California (CDE), el Superintendente de la Instrucción Pública Tom Torlakson aplaudió la orden de la corte federal fortaleciendo las protecciones para los datos de los estudiantes en el caso de Morgan Hill Asociación de Padres Preocupados vs. Departamento de California de Educación. Para obtener información adicional, lea el comunicado de prensa del CDE.