December 12, 2003

School Districts and New Privacy Law

Most homeschoolers in Minnesota are aware of the problems that resulted from the lack of any state law protecting the privacy of homeschool records. Homeschoolers worked together during the 2003 legislative session to see a new privacy law enacted that specifically protects the information homeschoolers are required to submit each fall. Previously, homeschoolers could "opt out" of having their information released to the public, but now they can choose to "opt in" if they wish their records to be considered "public data."

Passing good laws is only half the battle, however. Many Minnesota school districts remain unaware that they are now obligated to protect the confidentiality of homeschooler's data. Other districts are making the effort to apply the new standard. HSLDA was recently contacted by Wayzata Public Schools (Independent School District #284). This district wanted us to be aware that "Wayzata District #284 collects and maintains student data in accordance with State and Federal laws."

If you live in a school district that provides homeschoolers with "opt-out" forms or otherwise appears to be out of compliance with state law, please contact HSLDA. By continuing to educate school districts about the requirements of Minnesota law, homeschoolers can win the second half of the battle for privacy.