Legislative Council Study on Student Data Builds Consensus

Madison – The Legislative Council Study Committee on Student Data, chaired by Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R – Fond du Lac), concluded its third meeting with robust involvement and consensus. Study committees are organized by the Wisconsin Legislative Council, with legislative approval, to better understand issues and make recommendations for the upcoming 2017-2018 legislative session in a bi-partisan setting.  The committee members had a bright outlook on the final meeting to be held in November. 

Rep. Thiesfeldt shared, “During the afternoon session, the committee members shared their insights of the testimony we have heard, as well as examined whether initiatives from other states were appropriate for Wisconsin.  It has been an honor to guide this committee through the process and come to a consensus on maintaining the privacy of student data in our state.”

The scope of the study committee’s work is to review all student data gathered by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the data security measures that protect student privacy.

Committee members identified several topics for further consideration as possible recommendations to the Joint Legislative Council (JLC).  Recommendations were considered in various forms, such as proposed legislation or a letter/report highlighting issues for further action or study by the Legislature.  Proposed legislation included an update to the statutory responsibilities of DPI relating to protections for student data privacy, as well as a requirement that DPI create a publicly available inventory of all student data elements collected by the department.  General recommendations to the Legislature include assistance to school districts in their use of online resources and third-party vendors.

“Student data privacy and safety are high priorities.  I am pleased to see our progress on an issue that concerns so many parents around our state.  I look forward to the last meeting in November during which the committee will take the final steps in crafting draft legislation and policy recommendations for school districts and the Department of Public Instruction. We have the goal of ensuring, to the fullest extent possible, that the privacy of student information is safe in our digital age,” concluded Rep. Thiesfeldt.

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