CA student info will be released to nonprofit

Posted at 12:57 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 21:28:08-05

Millions of public school students will have their information and school records handed over the the Concerned Parents Association, a nonprofit organization.

The Concerned Parents Association said it needs the data base from the California Department of Education to see if California schools are violating the Individual with Disabilities Education Act and other related laws. 

Examples of the information that the CDE has stored on the databases and network drives includes names, social security number, home address, demographics, course information, statewide assessment results, special education assessments/evaluations, results on state tests and more. 

Local resident, Ashley Mesa graduated in 2008 and said she isn't completely comfortable her information is being shared and said she was unaware of it. 

"I know that it's been a long time since I've graduated, but I feel like that's kind of sensitive information and in certain situations it's definitely OK, but in this case I don't really agree with it," said Mesa. 

In a statement on their website, the Concerned Parents Association said "we are very concerned about the privacy of all students in the state." The association said their only concern "is to ensure the safety and legal rights of those with disabilities."

Local parent, Jake Parnell said he has a disable child and fears her information could be compromised. "It's good to see that someone is making sure that they do the right things, but at the same time you know I think that that could be done without such important information being released."

The vice president of the Concerned Parents Association, Christine English, said they didn't ask for all of the information that is being turned over to the organization, that's just how it's being given to them. 

"What we're doing is crunching numbers, not personal identifiable information," English said. "We're not looking at any one child, we're looking for trends that we see."

In their frequently asked questions portion of their website, they said "We do not want your child's social security number. CDE has represented that social security numbers may be included in some databases, which they will be producing in their entirety."

The judge in the case also implemented very specific guidelines including only allowing 10 people the right to look at the information and another judge was appointed to oversee the entire process. 

If parents or former students would like to object to their information being shared they can log on to the CDE's website here and fill out an objection form. However, both the CDE and the Concerned Parents Association said it is unclear whether or not the objection stops your information from being released.