Session Daily: Lawmakers worry student data vulnerable with state law behind the times

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The State Capitol in St. Paul. Photo by Andrew VonBank, Session Daily

Source: Session Daily

Data collected from Minnesota students’ school-issued devices would be more closely guarded under a bill heard Tuesday by a legislative data privacy panel.

Rep. Eric Lucero (R-Dayton) sponsors the legislation that would restrict how student data collected from software applications and computer devices can be used, accessed, sold, shared or retained.

Called the “Student Data Privacy Act,” HF 1507 would complement existing student data rules in the Minnesota Data Practices Act and the federal Education Rights and Privacy Act.

Visit http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/bs/90/HF1507.pdf for a summary of the bill.

The legislation represents an effort, Lucero said, to catch state law up with technological advances in the state’s schools. There have been “tremendous advances” in technology available to teachers and students since student data privacy provisions were first addressed in state law, he said. But those statutes have not necessarily kept up.

The Legislative Commission on Data Practices took no action.

“Where the law is at right now is sort of a crossroads as to how to deal with new technologies,” said Ben Feist, legislative director for the ACLU of Minnesota. Data collected on students — and how school districts use and protect it — has increasingly become an area of focus for Minnesota lawmakers. School-provided devices like laptops or tablets contain heaps of information that data privacy advocates fear could be mishandled or misused by schools and third parties.

HF 1507 includes language that would govern issues such as when school employees could look at a student’s browser history on their device, and would prohibit student data from being used to develop a profile for any commercial or marketing purpose.

The bill would also require training for school officials in student data privacy and would allow parents or guardians to sue school districts over violations of the act.

The privacy restrictions proposed would apply to all schools, in addition to the computer hardware and software companies with which they contract. Homeschool providers would be exempt.

“We’re trying to establish a new baseline,” Lucero said.

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Visit http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/sessiondaily to view other stories from Session Daily.

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Gov. Dayton orders flags at half-staff for Marina DeSteno Challeen

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Source: Office of Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith

In honor and remembrance of Emergency Medical Technician Marina DeSteno Challeen, Gov. Mark Dayton has ordered all United States flags and Minnesota flags to be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings in the state of Minnesota, from sunrise until sunset, on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.

DeSteno Challeen, 24, was raised in Stillwater and was a graduate of Stillwater Area High School and the University of Minnesota. She died on Monday, October 9, 2017, in a tragic collision when the ambulance in which she was riding collided with a semi-truck in Brooklyn Center.

The state of Minnesota recognizes DeSteno Challeen for her dedicated service to, and sacrifice for, her fellow citizens of Minnesota, with its deepest gratitude. A celebration of her life, will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, Minnesota.

At the direction of the governor, Minnesota flies its flags at half-staff following the death of Minnesota first responders killed in the line of duty, on the day of interment.

Visit https://mn.gov/governor/assets/2017_10_17_FHS_Marina_Gayle_Desteno_Challeen_tcm1055-315405.pdf for a copy of Gov. Dayton’s proclamation.

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Legislative commission to discuss Student Data Privacy Act

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The Legislative Commission on Data Practices is scheduled to examine the Student Data Privacy Act at 2 p.m. Tuesday, October 17, at the State Office Building (Room 200) in St. Paul.

This meeting is scheduled to be broadcast by the Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services. Just before the meeting begins Tuesday, visit http://www.house.mn/htv/schedule.asp to access a link to a stream for the meeting.

Student data privacy will be an important issue during the 2018 legislative session. This meeting is a great opportunity to learn what is being proposed and to hear legislators’ responses. MSBA staff members will be attending this hearing.

Access more information about the Student Data Privacy Act.

The commission will also do an overview of SF 1980, a bill concerning student-user data privacy in education rights. Learn more about this bill at https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?b=Senate&f=SF1980&ssn=0&y=2017.

Visit http://www.lcc.leg.mn/lcdp for more information about the Legislative Commission on Data Practices.

 

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MDE Releases Report on Special Education Costs

The Minnesota Department of Education recently released its report on special education cross-subsidies for FY16.special ed

The report delves into two areas. First, the amount each district is cross-subsidizing in special education costs with general education revenue. And second, the statewide average adjusted general revenue per adjusted pupil unit.

The special education cross subsidy is projected to reach $806 million in FY 2021.

To see the impact on your district and others, Appendix B in the report provides a district by district cross-subsidy amounts.

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Flags ordered at half-staff in honor of Las Vegas victims

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In accordance with the proclamation issued today by President Donald Trump, Gov. Mark Dayton has ordered all United States flags and Minnesota flags to be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings in the state of Minnesota.

As directed by President Trump, flags will be flown at half-staff beginning immediately, until sunset on Friday, October 6, 2017, as a mark of respect for the victims of the terrible act of violence in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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MDE shares public comments regarding state’s Every Student Succeeds Act plan

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Source: Minnesota Department of Education

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) closed the public comment period on August 31 for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

A brief overview of themes from the comment period is available at MDE’s website at http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/dse/ESSA/StatePlanPublicComment or at http://www.mnmsba.org/Portals/0/MDE-ESSA-Public-Comment-Themes-Aug2017.pdf.

Stakeholders can read all of the comments at http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/DSE/MDE072144.

MSBA submitted its comments in the form of a letter: http://www.mnmsba.org/Portals/0/PDFs/AdvocacyTour/ESSA-Letter-KirkSchneidawind-8-22-17.pdf

MDE will be posting the state plan at http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/dse/ESSA after the plan is submitted to the U.S. Department of Education on Monday, September 18.

According to MDE, they received nearly 200 responses to its public input survey, had more than 300 public meeting participants, and received nearly 100 letters and emails outlining the thoughts of students, families, teachers, administrators, student support staff, civil rights organizations, advocacy groups, Tribal Nations and more.

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Gov. Dayton orders flags at half-staff in honor of Officer William Mathews

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Source: Office of Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith

In honor and remembrance of Police Officer William Mathews, Gov. Mark Dayton has ordered all United States flags and Minnesota flags be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings in the state of Minnesota, from sunrise until sunset, on Thursday, September 14, 2017.

Police Officer Mathews was 47-years-old and a seven-year veteran of the Wayzata, Minnesota Police Department. Officer Mathews was a native of Pine Island, Minnesota. Prior to becoming a licensed Peace Officer, Officer Mathews served with both the Winona Police Department as a Reserve Officer and the Rochester Police Department as an intern. He began his career as a Licensed Peace Officer in 1998 with the Zumbrota Police Department, also working part-time with the Olmstead County and Goodhue County Sheriff’s Offices.

Officer Mathews died on Friday, September 8, 2017, after being struck by car, while in the line of duty. The state of Minnesota recognizes Officer William Mathews for his dedicated service to, and sacrifice for, his fellow Minnesotans with its deepest gratitude.

A celebration of William’s life, with full police honors, will be held on Thursday, September 14, 2017, at Wayzata Free Church in Plymouth, Minnesota, followed by interment at Summit Park Cemetery. Gov. Dayton will attend the service for Officer Mathews.

At the direction of the governor, Minnesota flies its flags at half-staff following the death of Minnesota police officers killed in the line of duty, on the day of interment.

See https://mn.gov/governor/assets/Officer_William_Mathews_tcm1055-311069.pdf for a copy of Gov. Dayton’s proclamation, ordering flags to be flown at half-staff across our state.

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