2015 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Hill
AN ACT RELATING TO STUDENT RECORDS; CREATING THE "MISSISSIPPI STUDENT DATA ACCESSIBILITY, TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2015"; DEFINING TERMS; REQUIRING THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO CREATE CERTAIN DATA INVENTORY AND TO DEVELOP CERTAIN POLICIES; PROHIBITING THE TRANSFER OF CERTAIN DATA; PROVIDING CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS; REQUIRING A DATA SECURITY PLAN; REQUIRING COMPLIANCE WITH CERTAIN LAWS AND POLICIES; REQUIRING CERTAIN CONTRACTS TO INCLUDE PRIVACY AND SECURITY PROVISIONS; REQUIRING THE BOARD TO NOTIFY THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE ANNUALLY CONCERNING CERTAIN INFORMATION; REQUIRING THE BOARD TO ADOPT CERTAIN RULES; PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF CERTAIN EXISTING DATA; TO AMEND SECTION 37-15-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) This section shall be known and may be cited as the "Mississippi Student Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015."
(2) As used in this act:
(a) "Board" means the State Board of Education.
(b) "Department" means the State Department of Education.
(c) "Data system" means the Mississippi State Department of Education student data system.
(d) "Aggregate data" means data collected and/or reported at the group, cohort, or institutional level.
(e) "De-identified data" means a student data set in which parent and student identifying information, including the state-assigned student identifier, has been removed.
(f) "Student testing number" means the unique student identifier assigned by the state to each student that shall not be or include the social security number of a student in whole or in part.
(g) "Student data" means data collected and/or reported at the individual student level included in a student's educational record.
(i) "Student data" includes:
1. State and national assessment results, including information on untested public school students;
2. Course taking and completion, credits earned, and other transcript information;
3. Course grades and grade point average;
4. Date of birth, grade level and expected graduation date/graduation cohort;
5. Degree, diploma, credential attainment, and other school exit information such as General
Educational Development and drop-out data;
6. Attendance and mobility;
7. Data required to calculate the federal four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate, including
sufficient exit and drop-out information;
8. Discipline reports limited to objective information sufficient to produce the federal Title IV Annual Incident Report;
10. Special education data; and
11. Demographic data and program participation information.
(ii) Unless included in a student's educational record, "student data" shall not include:
1. Juvenile delinquency records;
2. Criminal records;
3. Medical and health records;
4. Student social security number; and
5. Student biometric information.
(3) The State Board of Education shall:
(a) Create, publish and make publicly available a data inventory and dictionary or index of data elements with definitions of individual student data fields currently in the student data system including:
(i) Any individual student data required to be reported by state and federal education mandates;
(ii) Any individual student data which has been proposed for inclusion in the student data system with a statement regarding the purpose or reason for the proposed collection; and
(iii) Any individual student data that the State Department of Education collects or maintains with no current purpose or reason;
(b) Develop, publish and make publicly available policies and procedures to comply with the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other relevant privacy laws and policies, including, but not limited to:
(i) Access to student and de-identified data in the student data system shall be restricted to:
1. Authorized staff of the State Department of Education and the department's contractors who require such access to perform their assigned duties, including staff and contractors from the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services assigned to the department;
2. District administrators, teachers and school personnel who require such access to perform their assigned duties;
3. Students and their parents; and
4. The authorized staff of other state agencies in Mississippi as required by law and/or defined by interagency data-sharing agreements.
(ii) The State Department of Education shall use only aggregate data in public reports or in response to record requests in accordance with paragraph (c) of this subsection;
(iii) The State Department of Education shall develop criteria for the approval of research and data requests from state and local agencies, the State Legislature, researchers and the public:
1. Unless otherwise approved by the State Board of Education, student data maintained by the State Department of Education shall remain confidential; and
2. Unless otherwise approved by the State Board of Education to release student or de-identified data in specific instances, the department may only use aggregate data in the release of data in response to research and data requests; and
(iv) Notification to students and parents regarding their rights under federal and state law;
(c) Unless otherwise approved by the State Board of Education, the State Department of Education shall not transfer student or de-identified data deemed confidential under paragraph (b)(iii) of this subsection to any federal, state or local agency or other organization/entity outside of the State of Mississippi, with the following exceptions:
(i) A student transfers out of state or a school/district seeks help with locating an out—of—state transfer;
(ii) A student leaves the state to attend an out-of-state institution of higher education or training program;
(iii) A student registers for or takes a national or multistate assessment;
(iv) A student voluntarily participates in a program for which such a data transfer is a condition/requirement of participation;
(v) The department enters into a contract that governs databases, assessments, special education or
instructional supports with an out-of-state vendor; or
(vi) A student is classified as "migrant" for federal reporting purposes;
(d) Develop a detailed data security plan that includes:
(i) Guidelines for authorizing access to the student data system and to individual student data including guidelines for authentication of authorized access;
(ii) Privacy compliance standards;
(iii) Privacy and security audits;
(iv) Breach planning, notification and procedures; and
(v) Data retention and disposition policies;
(e) Ensure routine and ongoing compliance by the State Department of Education with Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), other relevant privacy laws and policies, and the privacy and security policies and procedures developed under the authority of this act, including the performance of compliance audits;
(f) Ensure that any contracts that govern databases, assessments or instructional supports that include student or de-identified data and are outsourced to private vendors include express provisions that safeguard privacy and security and include penalties for noncompliance; and
(g) Notify the Governor and the Legislature annually of the following:
(i) New student data proposed for inclusion in the state student data system:
1. Any new student data collection proposed by the State Board of Education becomes a provisional requirement to allow districts and their local data system vendors the opportunity to meet the new requirement; and
2. The State Board of Education must submit any new "provisional" student data collection to the Governor and the Legislature for their approval within one (1) year in order to make the new student data system a permanent requirement. Any provisional student data collection not approved by the Governor and the Legislature by the end of the next legislative session expires and is no longer required;
(ii) Changes to existing data collections required for any reason, including changes to federal reporting requirements made by the U.S. Department of Education;
(iii) An explanation of any exceptions granted by the State Board of Education in the past year regarding the
release or out-of-state transfer of student or de-identified data; and
(iv) The results of any and all privacy compliance and security audits completed in the past year. Notifications regarding privacy compliance and security audits shall not include any information that would itself pose a security threat to the state or local student information systems or to the secure transmission of data between state and local systems.
(4) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules for the State Department of Education to implement the provisions of the Student Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015.
(5) Upon the effective date of this act, any existing collection of student data by the State Department of Education shall not be considered a new student data collection in accordance with subsection (3)(g)(i) of this section.
SECTION 2. Section 37-15-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-15-1. The State Board of Education shall prepare and provide necessary forms for keeping permanent records and cumulative folders for each pupil in the public schools, including charter schools, of the state. From and after July 1, 2015, all student data collected by public school districts shall comply with the provisions of the "Student Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015." In the permanent record and cumulative folders, the teachers and principals shall keep information concerning the pupil's date of birth, as verified by the documentation authorized in this section, record of attendance, grades and withdrawal from the school, including the date of any expulsion from the school and a description of the student's act or behavior resulting in the expulsion. The records also shall contain information pertaining to immunization and such other information as the State Board of Education may prescribe. The cumulative folder, in addition to that information maintained in the permanent records, also shall contain such other information as the State Board of Education shall prescribe. It shall be the responsibility of the person in charge of each school to enforce the requirement for evidence of the age of each pupil before enrollment. If the first prescribed evidence is not available, the next evidence obtainable in the order set forth below shall be accepted:
(a) A certified birth certificate;
(b) A duly attested transcript of a certificate of baptism showing the date of birth and place of baptism of the child, accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by a parent, grandparent or custodian;
(c) An insurance policy on the child's life which has been in force for at least two (2) years;
(d) A bona fide contemporary Bible record of the child's birth accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by the parent, grandparent or custodian;
(e) A passport or certificate of arrival in the United States showing the age of the child;
(f) A transcript of record of age shown in the child's school record of at least four (4) years prior to application, stating date of birth; or
(g) If none of these evidences can be produced, an affidavit of age sworn to by a parent, grandparent or custodian. Any child enrolling in kindergarten or Grade 1 shall present the required evidence of age upon enrollment. Any child in Grades 2 through 12 not in compliance at the end of sixty (60) days from enrollment shall be suspended until in compliance.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2015.