December 5, 2007

 

Taylor Legislation to Protect Students

MADISON – Today, Senator Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee) introduced the School Transcript Accountability Act.  The bill sets new rules for the maintenance, retention, and transference of student records in certain private schools.

“Transcripts are integral to the advancement of our young people,” said Taylor. “Understanding their significance, the Legislature would be remiss if it didn’t do all it could to ensure that student transcripts are diligently kept.”

Current law exempts private schools from the compulsory recordkeeping standards to which public schools must conform.  Absent such regulations, there are not safeguards to ensure that private schools do not prematurely destroy student records or accountability in the event they are lost, costing students the benefits of a transcript.

“My office was recently contacted by a high school graduate who couldn’t get into college because her private school had closed without transferring her transcript somewhere first,” Taylor reported. “She wound up unable to access a copy of it, which prevented her from even applying anywhere.  No one should find themselves in that position.”

Under the School Transcript Accountability Act, private schools participating in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) would be required to maintain standardized progress records for each pupil attending the school, issue a diploma or certificate of graduation to all students who fulfill the requirements for graduation, and transfer student records to Milwaukee Public Schools in the event that the private school closes.  The bill, which has bipartisan support, would impact only those private schools involved in MPCP.  

“All students are entitled to a valid, functioning transcript, no matter what school they attend,” Taylor closed. “This legislation is a big step forward in affording Milwaukee’s children that basic educational right, and I look forward to working on behalf of its passage in the coming months.”