The National School Boards Association (NSBA) praised the passage of the Uninterrupted Scholars Act, which allows school districts to provide educational records to child welfare agencies that are legally responsible for the care and protection of a student, including the educational stability of a child in foster care. This new law, signed by President Barack Obama on Monday, amends provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
“Assuring the educational success of vulnerable children, such as those in the child welfare system, is an important priority for local school boards,” said Michael A. Resnick, NSBA’s Associate Executive Director for Public Policy and Federal Advocacy. “Federal policy increasingly calls for public school districts to collect and share data on individual students. Federal initiatives require data collection to ascertain, among other things, individual student progress, student demographics, and student disciplinary actions.”
While it is important to respect a student’s privacy, NSBA recognizes that this data collection and sharing may be necessary to achieve important goals such as interagency collaboration in youth services, closing the achievement gap, and improving instruction and student outcomes.
“The Uninterrupted Scholars Act is a step forward in assuring successful educational outcomes for some of our most vulnerable children,” said Resnick.