Friday, February 3, 2017

Joint Legislative Council Committee Votes to Introduce Student Data, Broadband Bills

The Joint Legislative Council Committee met this week and unanimously voted to introduced the draft bills authored by the Study Committee on Rural Broadband and the Study Committee on School Data.

·         Uses $1.5 million from the Universal Service Fund each year to pay for the state Broadband Expansion Grant Program. The bill does not raise the assessments that are used to pay for the Universal Service Fund.
·         Clarifies how current Broadband Expansion Grant criteria should be applied by defining “economic development” and “unserved areas.”  
·         Creates a new requirement that the Public Service Commission consider each grant proposal’s impact on the ability of students to access educational opportunities from home and the ability of individuals to access health care services.

The Study Committee on Student Data authored two bills:

Inventory of Pupil Data: This bill requires the State Superintendent to create, maintain and post a pupil data inventory on DPI’s website. This data inventory must include every distinct type of pupil data collected by DPI from schools and school districts, a definition of the type of pupil data collected, the purpose for collecting the pupil data, and a citation to the specific provision of state or federal law requiring collection of the data. The list must be updated every time DPI makes changes to the type of data they collect.

Responsibilities of the State Superintendent Related to Privacy and Security of Pupil Data: This bill requires the State Superintendent to develop a model data privacy and security plan, which includes certain elements like guidelines for access to pupil data and to the student information system. This bill also requires the State Superintendent to provide guidance and training to school districts on data privacy and the security of pupil data. The Superintendent must work with stakeholders to develop and promote best practices regarding the quality, usefulness, openness, privacy, and security of pupil data.

All three of these bills will now be given formal bill numbers and referred to standing committees of the Legislature for consideration. 

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