Education Committee schedule: April 8, 2009

Work session, 1:00 PM

Work Sessions

HP 494, LD 711
An Act To Authorize the Social Work Education Loan Repayment Program
Apr 8, 2009, 0100PM
Cross Building Room 202

SP 274, LD 725
An Act To Protect Student Privacy while Complying with Federal Law
Apr 8, 2009, 0100PM
Cross Building Room 202

HP 553, LD 817
An Act Concerning Teacher Salaries
Apr 8, 2009, 0100PM
Cross Building Room 202

HP 595, LD 864
An Act To Provide for the Certification of Teachers in a Critical Teacher Shortage Area
Apr 8, 2009, 0100PM
Cross Building Room 202

SP 355, LD 933
An Act To Prohibit Cyberbullying
Apr 8, 2009, 0100PM
Cross Building Room 202

HP 665, LD 963
Resolve, Directing the University of Maine System To Self-transition Its Educational Broadband Service from Analog to Digital
Apr 8, 2009, 0100PM
Cross Building Room 202

SP 367, LD 984
Resolve, To Establish a Pilot Program To Provide Greater Cooperation and Coordination between the University of Maine System and the Maine Community College Sys...
Apr 8, 2009, 0100PM
Cross Building Room 202

Committee kills Bolduc's bill to prohibit merit pay

HP 553, LD 817
An Act Concerning Teacher Salaries

Without discussion, Committee votes 10-0 Ought Not To Pass.

LD 864: ONTP

HP 595, LD 864
An Act To Provide for the Certification of Teachers in a Critical Teacher

Rep Johnson is still interested in this concept but says the project needs more work, moves Ought Not To Pass.

Committee concurs: 10-0 ONTP

Student privacy bill: Ought To Pass 8-3

SP 274, LD 725
An Act To Protect Student Privacy while Complying with Federal Law

Senator Weston moves Ought To Pass.

8-3 OTP: (Sutherland, Finch, & Rankin opposed?)

90 minutes of debate below

Rep. Finch wants to review language, want to make sure this is something that can be done. In complete agreement with intent. Question on part regarding enforcement through civil action. Can school unit bring a civil action? Against whom would that be brought? If a school unit discloses a student's name, does the school board sue itself?

Senator Weston: suggests removing section regarding civil action. Important thing is to let schools know that they are directed NOT to report names.

Shenna Bellows from MCLU: Okay to remove civil action language if language is added saying Department "shall not collect or maintain personally identifiable information."

Rep Nelson: If Department is saying that Federal law requires collecting this information, who determines.

Senator Alfond: Don't recall Department specifying the law requirement.

Bellows: MCLU attorneys say law may "allow" collecting the names, but does not "require" it.

Commissioner: Language says we *are* to collect. Does say "may". In the case of an audit, you have to be able to go to personally identifiable information. Maine law also says that Maine law requires that disciplinary information has to be transmitted from district to district if a student moves.

Senator Alfond: Could Department collect student information on basis of individual numerical indentifier and NOT name?

Commissioner: Possibly. Difficult, expensive, complicated, potentially onerous to local systems. Would want to indemnify Department. Have brought Department's data experts to explain. Have to be able to certify to feds that there is no duplication of student data. Has to be done at the individual student level.

Senator Alfond: Before we're inundated by paper and data. Simple question. How is the collection of data different from two years ago? Before MEDMS.

Finch: MEDMS. More than two years. Recall comments that MEDMS was less than perfect. What has changed now with "Infinite Campus'? How do we know that what you're doing now is -- good?

Department: easier reporting, more comprehensie.

Commissioner: Important to speak to security,

Department: Centralized system is more secure. Data in encrypted. MEDMS is the data. Infinite Campus is the application.

Senator Weston: Everything connects to student's name. Which regulation says that you must, in any of those infractions, requires the name to connect to the behavior.

Commissioner: Under IDEA...

Weston: What requires?

Commissioner: have to certify.

Weston: We need you to work with us.

Commissioner, Not trying to be difficult. Want you to understand the system.

Department: Reports are complex. Requirement are complex.

Weston: Superintendents have offered to do that.

Commissioner: But they haven't done that. Burden on staff.

Weston: Can you do it another way?

Commissioner: Could do with staff and price tag. Not an easy solution for us.

Senator Schneider: We understand that you work hard for us. But don;t believe that personal data is ever completely safe. Important to protect the child. How can we do this so it's not onerous to the Department? I think there's a real problem here.

Department: ;ocal systems are where the data is vulnerable. State system is secure. Bill doesn't address local security. Don't think superintendents understand what would be required. Our goal is to reduce the reporting requirements. This would put the burden back on them.

Rep Finch: You have referenced auditing problem from Migrant program (Spring 2003), I can uderstand. I this case, would there be any kind of audit where the Feds would require specific names related to discipline incidents.

Commissioner: State auditor looks annually to see that we're reporting accurately. More nervous in relation to ARRA (stimulus).

Department: No, not names; by student identifier number.

Finch: Is there any circumstance or time where you'd have to come up with how many students are in particular categories.

Commisisoner: yes, that's the problem.

Rep. Johnson: This is what's wroing with education today -- more time spent collecting data that educating.

Commissioner: defends. Data is useful, is improving education. As one who was outpsoken against NCLB originally. Now has changed and improved.

Rep Rankin. How do schools get information to state.

Department: can upload it directly to state system or maintain it locally. Federal government gets only aggregated data.

Weston: So collection is not required by law.

Commissioner: Have to certify. Have to report. Have to assist so that money can flow to districts. If we don;t do it, local districts will have to use another method to validate.

Department: Federal law says MAY; state law says SHALL.