Important Information Regarding Confidential Student Data

 

In the interest of keeping our parents and families current with respect to matters that may directly affect their children, we wanted to take this opportunity to advise you of a pending case involving the California Department of Education (‘CDE”) in which CDE has been ordered by the court to provide to plaintiffs numerous documents, as well as student data collected and stored by CDE, which may include personally identifiable student information and of your right to file an objection to the disclosure of such records.

 

Specifically, in April 2012, two organizations, the Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association and the Concerned Parent Association, filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Education (CDE) alleging widespread, systemic non-compliance by local education agencies with special education laws. The suit 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.  As a result and in an effort to prove their case, the plaintiffs have requested access to numerous documents, which may include personally identifiable student information, which the court has ordered CDE to provide under the terms of a protective order.  It is our understanding that the protective order essentially prohibits any further disclosure of the information by the Plaintiffs and imposes a duty on them to maintain the confidentiality of the documents. 

 

It is important to understand that our school district was not involved in the lawsuit and is not the subject of any of the suit’s allegations. It is also important to understand that our school district is not itself releasing any documents.   Only CDE has been ordered by the court to release all data it has collected on general and special education students since January 1, 2008. For more information regarding the release of this data visit: http://www.cde.ca.gov/morganhillcase

 

To comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), CDE has been ordered, among other things, to inform parents and students of the disclosure of such information.  CDE has requested that school districts and SELPAs post the following link to CDE’s website: http://www.cde.ca.gov/morganhillcase.  The link provides a Notice and Objection form to allow parents to object, by April 1, 2016, to the disclosure of personally identifiable information related to their children @ http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/di/ws/documents/form2016jan26.pdf .   These links are also available on the District’s website under the Tab – For Parents

 

Should you have any questions, please contact your site principal.