How PTA advocacy benefits our kids

Judge backtracks on release of California student records

By Sharon Noguchi, , Posted: 03/04/2016

Responding to overwhelming public protest, a federal judge has backtracked on the potential release of records for 10 million California students — and decided that they won’t be provided to attorneys in a special-education lawsuit.

Instead, Judge Kimberly Mueller ruled that the huge database will remain solely with the California Department of Education, which then will have to assist attorneys seeking evidence in the state’s electronic files.

But the judge left in place the potential release to attorneys of other comprehensive information, including six years of statewide STAR test data, plus records of special-education students, who make up about 10 percent of pre-K-12 students statewide. Those databases include mental health and behavior records.

Parents and privacy advocates applauded Mueller’s decision but still worried it will allow the release of sensitive details. The huge database on students and teachers includes names, addresses, disciplinary records, grades, test scores, and even details such as pregnancy, addiction and criminal history. Pam Dixon of the World Privacy Forum said the data are “inappropriate in any hands” other than those of education authorities.



Joint Statement from ACSA, CSBA and PTA, April 20, 2016

SACRAMENTO – Plaintiffs in the Robles-Wong v. State of California lawsuit expressed disappointment in the ruling today by the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco. The case, brought forward in 2010 by the California School Boards Association, Association of California School Administrators and California State PTA, along with nine individual school districts and approximately 60 individual students and their families, alleges that the state’s school finance system violates article IX (the Education Article) of the California Constitution.

In a 2-1 ruling for the defendants, the Appeals Court held that the California Constitution does not guarantee the right to an adequate level of education as defined by funding or by qualitative measures, stipulating only that the state must provide for a “system of common schools.”