Legal Alerts Feb 18, 2016

Case Permits Possible Disclosure of Student Records by California Department of Education

School Districts Should Notify Parents About April 1 Opt-Out Deadline

Case Permits Possible Disclosure of Student Records by California Department of Education

A federal judge has ordered the California Department of Education to release information about students who are attending, or who have attended, any California public school since Jan. 1, 2008. The Notice of Disclosure of Student Records comes in the case of Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association v. California Department of Education.

CDE has provided notice to all school districts within the State and has provided language to school districts to place on their websites regarding the Morgan Hill case. However, since there is an April 1 deadline for parents to opt-out of having their students’ information disclosed, school districts may want to proactively notify parents of current students regarding the case and the right to opt out of disclosure.

School districts capable of contacting all parents through email or some other mass format should consider notifying parents of the information disclosure and opt-out deadline. This notice should be sent to all parents, as the disclosure requirement is not limited to special education students. Specifically, the notice should provide information about how to obtain the opt-out form.

The court has determined this broad disclosure necessary to reach a decision in the pending case. A nonprofit corporation sued CDE on behalf of all students in California alleging that CDE has not properly ensured compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The purpose of the disclosure of documents is to allow the plaintiffs to review the documents compiled by CDE to determine whether CDE has appropriately complied with the mandates of the IDEA.

For more information regarding the Morgan Hill case and specific school district requirements, please contact the author of this Legal Alert listed at the right in the firm’s Education Law practice group, or your BB&K attorney.

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Disclaimer: BB&K Legal Alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqué.

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