Alert! New Education Statute! Minnesota’s New Survey Law Provides Parents with Input and Schools with Guidance on Parental Notification

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Alert!  New Education Statute! 

Minnesota’s New Survey Law Provides Parents with Input and Schools with Guidance on Parental Notification

Governor Mark Dayton has just signed the supplemental spending bill, which means that MACC’s survey bill is now law!  Many thanks to House Education Committee Chair Sondra Erickson and Representatives Eric Lucero, author, and additional authors, representatives Erickson, Gruenhagen, and Pugh as well as Senator Mary Kiffmeyer’s amendment in the Senate. Our thanks for the many spoken and written testimonies, the parents who attended the hearings and the abundant number of school surveys received by MACC to fill multiple notebooks.

As we’ve reported for three years, many of our schools are administering surveys to students with little or no parental notification.  To be fair, some districts are giving some notification and MACC is grateful for those.   But the point of this bill was to give parents due notification when their child’s data is about to be taken via surveys.

The data collected from surveys have been disseminated to a plethora of third parties, including business vendors, corporations, and university research institutions.  Some of these entities may further share or sell that data.   Much of the data is very sensitive and private and may divulge family information, including religious beliefs, sexual affiliation, political persuasion, and other information.

We do encourage parents to become involved which your school board, not only in the process of identifying appropriate surveys, but also vetting where that survey information is going.   This law is expressly written for the involvement and engagement of parents.

Minnesota Statute 121A.065 states that school districts and charter schools must develop and adopt policies on conducting student surveys and their distribution IN CONSULTATION WITH PARENTS.  This is about as close to local control as one gets!  Additionally, school districts and charter schools must:

  1. Directly notify parents of these policies at the beginning of each school year
  2. Directly notify parents after making any substantive changes
  3. Inform parents at the beginning of the year if the district or school has identified specific or approximate dates for administering survevys
  4. Give parents reasonable notice of planned surveys scheduled after the start of the year
  5. Give parents direct, timely notice, by United States mail, email, or other direct form of communication, when the students are scheduled to participate in a student survey
  6. Give parents the opportunity to review the survey and to opt their students out of participating in the survey
  7. School districts and charter schools must not impose an academic or other
    penalty upon a student who opts out of participating in a survey under paragraph (a).

Read the statute.

Minnesota Statute 121A.065

466.11    Sec. 27. [121A.065] DISTRICT SURVEYS TO COLLECT STUDENT 
466.12INFORMATION; PARENT NOTICE AND OPPORTUNITY FOR OPTING OUT.
466.13(a) School districts and charter schools, in consultation with parents, must develop 
466.14and adopt policies on conducting student surveys and using and distributing personal 
466.15information on students collected from the surveys. School districts and charter schools 
466.16must:
466.17(1) directly notify parents of these policies at the beginning of each school year and 
466.18after making any substantive policy changes;
466.19(2) inform parents at the beginning of the school year if the district or school has 
466.20identified specific or approximate dates for administering surveys and give parents 
466.21reasonable notice of planned surveys scheduled after the start of the school year;
466.22(3) give parents direct, timely notice, by United States mail, e-mail, or other direct 
466.23form of communication, when their students are scheduled to participate in a student 
466.24survey; and
466.25(4) give parents the opportunity to review the survey and to opt their students out of 
466.26participating in the survey.
466.27(b) School districts and charter schools must not impose an academic or other 
466.28penalty upon a student who opts out of participating in a survey under paragraph (a).
466.29EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective for the 2016-2017 school year and 
466.30later.

If you would like to help MACC as well continue to work at the legislature, please contact us here or via facebook.

 

 

 

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