Morgan Hill Case - Release of Student Information
A recent lawsuit against the California Department of Education (CDE) is impacting all school districts across the state including the Desert/Mountain SELPA and the Desert/Mountain Charter SELPA.
In April 2012, two organizations, the Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association and the Concerned Parent Association (Plaintiffs), filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Education (CDE) alleging widespread, systemic non-compliance by local education agencies with the IDEA and Section 504. The suit also alleges the CDE fails to monitor, investigate and correct such non-compliance in accordance with the law. (See case # 2:11-cv-03471-KJM-AC) The CDE denies these allegations and is actively defending the litigation.
As part of the litigation discovery process, Plaintiffs have requested numerous documents, as well as student data collected and stored by the CDE. Many of the requested documents and data stored in the CDE databases contain personally identifiable information (PII) of children, including children with disabilities, children who requested an assessment or who were assessed for special education eligibility, and children who are attending, or who have attended, a California school at any time since January 1, 2008. Although the CDE has contested the production of such information, the court at this juncture has ordered the CDE to produce to Plaintiffs’ legal counsel documents and data that contain student PII. Included in the court’s order to produce documents and data is a Protective Order prohibiting the Plaintiffs and their legal counsel from disclosing confidential information acquired in the course of the lawsuit, including PII, to anyone other than the parties, their attorneys and consultants, and the Court. None of this information may be used outside the context of this lawsuit; no student’s identifying records will be disclosed to the public.
For more information regarding the release of this data and how you can file an objection with the court to consider not releasing your data, visit: http://www.cde.ca.gov/morganhillcase. You may also contact the California Department of Education at 916-319-0800.