Rep. Eric Lucero, R-Dayton, center, is joined by Minnesotans Against Common Core board members, from left, Anne Taylor, Kerstin Schulz, and Linda Bell, and concerned parent Vesta Kelly, to testify at a House committee hearing Thursday in St. Paul in support of legislation designed to protect student private data and ensure parental authority.
Rep. Lucero’s bills to protect student private data heard
in House Education Committee
ST. PAUL – A package of six bills designed to ensure parental authority and expand protection of student private data was heard Thursday in the House Education Innovation Policy Committee in St. Paul.
Rep. Eric Lucero, R-Dayton, is the chief author of four of the bills that were heard by the committee and co-author of the other two.
Lucero said the chapter in state statute governing education and technology dates back to 1980, with relatively few updates since.
“That was back in 1980, when Ronald Reagan was elected President, and I was not even yet 3 years old,” Lucero said. “Clearly, the law has not kept up with technology advances.”
Lucero said parents from all around the community and the state have been contacting him to express their high concern regarding the use of tests and surveys administered in schools collecting their children’s personally identifiable information – of which the student private data is subsequently shared with third parties for purposes of data mining.
“Concerned parents have been contacting me stating they trust me to fight to protect our children and that my professional experience and background combining cyber security specialist, educator, and law enforcement make me uniquely qualified to advance this legislation,” Lucero said. “I have a passion for the use of technology in education but I also have a passion for the use of cyber security to protect our children against big business using our schools as instruments to collect Big Data on our children. I also strongly believe in empowering parents and my legislation does just that by returning parental control over their children's private information.”
Rep. Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton, is the chief author of two of the student private data bills heard in committee. The full list includes:
H.F. 2898 (Lucero) - Student privacy in data on electronic devices provided by an educational institution protected, and penalties provided.
H.F. 2899 (Lucero) - Student privacy with respect to electronic data in student information systems protected, and penalties provided.
H.F. 2900 (Lucero) - Student privacy in personal electronic devices on campus protected, and civil penalties provided.
H.F. 2762 (Erickson) - Education commissioner directed to develop plan to ensure privacy and security of students' personally identifiable information.
H.F. 2671 (Lucero) - Student data access addressed, disclosure requirements affecting personally identifiable information about a student clarified, information in electronic student education records managed, student survey requirements established, and civil penalties provided.
H.F. 2813 (Erickson) - Statutes governing parental rights in education cross-reference directory created.
"Concerned parents from around the state came to the Capitol to testify in favor of the bills," Lucero said. "I received very positive response from both Democrats and Republicans on the committee because protecting our children is not a partisan issue. I look forward to continuing the discussion and work as these bills continue working their way through the legislative process."