The use of Social Security numbers has once again become a hot-button topic in Louisiana legislature, particularly for students who often share the sensitive data even without parental knowledge.
As reported by local CBS affiliate KNOE, Louisiana legislators are now demanding educational reform in the area of student identification with House Bill 946, which stipulates specifically the manner in which students are identified.
At present, Louisiana students share their social security numbers for a wide range of uses, including scholarships, standardized test scores and college applications.
But is it necessary to use such a sensitive identifier so often? This is the argument of Ouachita Parish Superintendent Bob Webber, who says his school district only uses social security numbers when necessary.
Internally, Webber and his staff use student ID numbers that are given to students for absenteeism, report cards and grades. Under House Bill 946, students across the state of Louisiana would receive a similar identification numbers to be used in lieu their social security number.
Representative John Schroder, R-Covington, originally introduced the bill with more stringent guidelines, and following revisions is now an amended bill advancing to the house floor.
Webber insists that safety is the primary concern when it comes to students. He believes the bill would ensure students are safe and their personal information is kept private.
Webber also believes that a state-wide identification system would help when students transfer to other Louisiana school districts. Should the bill pass into law, it would be expected to go into effect for the 2015-2016 school year to give the state time to overhaul its existing system.