Federal Legislation
June 2, 2015

S. 1341 - "Student Privacy Protection Act"

Summary:
S 1341 addresses the growing problem of federal weakening of student data protections. It also restores protections to FERPA that were eliminated by Department of Education regulations in 2011.

- No third-party access of student data without parental notice.

S 1341 prohibits states that receive Federal education funds from providing any third-party access to personally-identifiable student data without parental notice and consent. (Sec. 3, Page 9)

- Provides privacy for student data in longitudinal databases.

S 1341 prohibits states that receive Federal education funds from using student data in preschool to workplace (P-20) longitudinal databases unless the data is aggregated, anonymized, and de-identified. This restriction also prohibits states from collecting data on student activities and workplace progression from preschool to career, through voluntary or involuntarily-submitted information. (Sec. 3, Page 11)

- No Storage of Personally-identifiable data.

S 1341 prohibits the head of any Federal agency and states receiving Federal education funds from storing student data unless the data has first been aggregated, anonymized, and de-identified. It also prevents the states and agencies from providing personally-identifiably student data access to outside parties. (Sec. 3, Page 12)

- Provides additional protections for homeschoolers.

S 1341 ensures that if an institution receiving federal education funds has information on homeschool students, the homeschool students are entitled to the same protections as students of the institution. (Sec. 4, Page 13,14)

- Restricts the type of student data that can be collected.

S 1341 prohibits the Department of Education or any agency receiving federal assistance from administering any student survey or evaluation that solicits information regarding (among other things) a student’s political beliefs/affiliations, religious beliefs/affiliations, critical appraisals of another individual with whom a student has a close relationship, or personal or family gun ownership information. (Sec. 7, Page 23)

Status:
Introduced (5/14/15)

Sponsor:
Sen. David Vitter (LA)

Bill Summary and Status S. 1341

HSLDA’s Position:
Support

Action Requested:
None at this time

Background:
The Family Educational Records Privacy Act (FERPA) was established to protect personally identifiable student records collected in local and state databases. However, Department of Education regulatory changes to FERPA in 2011 gutted many of the protections. For more information on the impact of the changes, and our concerns with student privacy in Common Core, please visit HSLDA's page on the topic
 

 Other Resources

S. 1341 Bill History

HSLDA HSLDA Letter of Support to Senator Vitter for the Student Privacy Protection Act

Sen. David Vitter Press Release on Student Privacy Protection Act.

HSLDA’s official comments on the 2011 changes to FERPA.

The Dawning Database: Does the Common Core Lead to National Data Collection?