Senate Bill 503: Relative to Unique Pupil Identification

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Last Updated: July 29, 2010
Senate Bill 503: Relative to Unique Pupil Identification
Sponsors:
Senators Kelly and Odell
Summary:

Senate Bill 503 is designed to make New Hampshire eligible for federal grant funding provided under the government's Race to the Top Program. To this end, the bill creates a unique pupil identifier for children enrolled in public school programs. According to the law, this identifier "shall be requested and maintained by the early childhood program, [local school] district, or postsecondary institution."

The Department of Education will have access to data gathered by these public programs for the purpose of conducting studies and improving education programs. The data collected will include the following information:

Early Childhood Programs:
1) Program participation
2) Entry, exit and type of program
3) Participant demographics

Postsecondary Institutions:
1) Remedial education courses
2) Entry, withdrawal, and transfers
3) Degrees and certificates granted

The Department will integrate all data collected into a data warehouse which it will have access to the with the unique identifier. The Department will also have the discretion to grant others access to information contained in the random number generating system (including some potentially personally identifying information) effectively breaching the privacy "firewall" between the private identifying information and data listed above. The program is ostensibly to be used to help create research to improve public school performance which is a potentially worthy goal. However, many homeschoolers who enroll or apply for admission to post secondary institutions should not have to be labeled with a unique identifier — nor should any student. Parents should have the right to opt their children out of such a program if they so desire. HSLDA understands that there are some representatives who are attempting to make some changes to allow parents to opt their children out of this program.

HSLDA's Position:
Neutral.
Action Requested:
None at this time
Status:

02/10/2010 (Senate) Introduced and Referred to Education
02/16/2010 (Senate) Hearing: March 2, 2010, Room 103, Legislative Office Building (LOB), 11:00 a.m.
03/03/2010 (Senate) Hearing: === RECESSED === March 2, 2010, Room 103, LOB, 11:00 a.m.
03/03/2010 (Senate) Hearing: === RECONVENE === March 8, 2010, Room 103, LOB, 3:00 p.m.
03/16/2010 (Senate) Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment 1014s, 3/17/10
03/17/2010 (Senate) Committee Amendment 1014s, AA, VV; SJ 10, Pg.162
03/17/2010 (Senate) Ought to Pass with Amendment 1014s, MA, VV; OT3rdg
03/17/2010 (Senate) Passed by Third Reading Resolution
03/18/2010 (House) Introduced and Referred to Education
03/23/2010 (House) Public Hearing: 4/13/2010 10:30 AM LOB 207
4/21/2010 (House) Executive Session: 5/4/2010 10:00 a.m. LOB 207
5/04/2010     (House)     Majority Committee Report: Ought to pass with amendment #1824h
5/04/2010     (House)     Minority Committee Report: Out to Pass with Amendment #1942h
5/04/2010     (House)     Full House vote is scheduled for May 12, 2010
5/12/2010     (House)     Special order to next session day, no objections
5/13/2010     (House)     Floor Amendment by Ingbretson failed
5/13/2010     (House)     Ought to pass with amendment
5/19/2010     (Senate)     Senate did not concur; Senate requests conference committee
5/19/2010     (House)     Conference committee appointed: Representatives Rous, Ward, Yeaton, and Casey
5/19/2010     (Senate)     Senators Kelly, Merrill, and Bragdon
5/21/2010     (Senate)     Conference Committee meeting: 5/24/2010 12:00 p.m., Room 103, State House
5/27/2010     (House)     Conference Committee report filed. The committee recommended accepting the House amendment + new amendment. You can review the report and the new amendment here: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/cofcreports/SB503.html
6/2/2010     (Senate)     Adopted Conference Committee Report
6/2/2010     (House)     Adopted Conference Committee Report
6/2/2010     (Senate)     Enrolled
6/2/2010     (House)     Enrolled
7/20/2010     Signed by Governor

Background:

The Race to the Top Program is a federal grant program created by President Obama's 2009 stimulus bill that encourages states to compete for federal funds by making certain changes in their state education policy. The U.S. Department of Education lays out the following areas of reform the federal government is urging the states to address the following:

  • Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy;
  • Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals how they can improve instruction;
  • Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and
  • Turning around our lowest-achieving schools.

Four harmful results of Race to the Top:
1) Race to the Top requires states to establish student databases
2) Race to the Top forces states to meet federal education requirements
3) Race to the Top hurts state budgets
4) Race to the Top advances national education standards

 Other Resources

Bill Text

Bill History