Louisiana schools must now adhere to some new restrictions and requirements regarding student identification and personal information in what is the latest step in a process designed by the state to protect students from identity theft.
According to a JDSupra report, the new requirements for student information apply to all public and charter schools, the governing authority for each charter school, as well as any education management organization under contract to operate a charter school.
The legislation behind the new regulations is Louisiana Revised Statute 17:3914, in which the Louisiana Department of Education has developed a unique student identification system to be used in lieu of students’ social security numbers. The Local Education Authority (LEA) is required to assign each individual student a new “Secure Student ID” under that system by June 1.
Also starting June 1, no official or employee of a public school will be allowed to provide a student’s personally identifiable information to any person, public or private entity, or to any member of the school board without parental consent. The only exception to the rule would be situations that require schools to comply with state or federal auditing, assessment and reporting requirements.
Personally identifiable information is defined by the statute as information about an student that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact or locate an individual. This may include:
- Information that can be used to distinguish or trace an identity: a full name, Social Security number, date and place of birth, mother’s maiden name or biometric records.
- Information that is linked or linkable to an individual: medical, educational, financial or employment information.
- Two or more pieces of information that separately or when linked can be used to reasonably ascertain individual identity.
Several other measures stipulated in the statute went into effect on August 1, 2014. At that time, legal restrictions were applied to who may be granted access to computer systems containing the personal identification information of students. Moreover, restrictions were placed on the disposal of student personal information stored on school systems, along with requirements that school contractors restrict access to the student information that they are provided.