Concerned Parents Organization v. CA Department of Education: What You Need to Know

posted Feb 19, 2016, 11:00 AM by Robin Dutton-Cookston   [ updated Feb 19, 2016, 11:08 AM ]

San Francisco public school parents have expressed concern about the recent court order in the Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Organization v. California Department of Education lawsuit.

Here are the basics on what we have learned

The Concerned Parents Organization wanted to see if California schools are violating the Individuals with Disabilities Act and other similar laws. They requested access to certain data from the California Department of Education database of personal information on all public school children in California. The California Department of Education repeatedly refused this request, but recently Judge Kimberly J. Mueller of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, ruled that the state must turn over its student data to a court-ordered special master who will allow access to attorneys for the plaintiffs.

According to San Jose Mercury News coverage, fewer than 10 people will receive the student data and “the attorneys reviewing the records are required to keep the data private and confidential, and will have to return or destroy it afterward.” Some have expressed concern, however, about feasibility of keeping the data secure once it is released.

SFUSD has made the following statement on the front page of their website:

“SFUSD is not a party to the litigation and is not required to disclose any student information, nor do we intend to do so.”

San Francisco parents have the right to request that their children’s information be exempt. The Objection to Disclosure form must be filled out by April 1, 2016 and sent via regular mail.

For parents wishing to fill out the Objection to Disclosure form, here is the link in English and in Spanish.

Other resources

  • Scroll down the SFUSD page for their link to the Objection to Disclosure forms

Editor’s Note: Many thanks to the parents who shared information and resources on our PPS-SF listserv about this topic.