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Updated Joint Guidance on Privacy and Student Education and Health Records

December 19, 2019 Updated Joint Guidance on Privacy and Student Education and Health Records The U.S. Department of Education and the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released updated joint guidance today addressing the application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule to records maintained on students. The guidance, which was first issued in November 2008, clarifies for school administrators, health care professionals, families, and others how FERPA and HIPAA apply to education and health records maintained about students. The revised guidanc...

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EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS ACT – Update #5 The purpose of this letter is to update you on California’s transition to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The new federal law provides states with more flexibility to design accountability and systems of support that will align with current California reforms, such as the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs). In this letter, we will provide information about ESSA regulations, the California ESSA State Plan, and ESSA guidance from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). ESSA Regulations ESSA regulations are developed by ED to provide clarity to state educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) for implementing the statute. ED has released and collected public comment on three sets of ESSA regulations: Accountability, Data Reporting, and Submission of State PlansAssessment and Innovative Assessment PilotsSupplement Not Supplant I have submitted responses to each set of regulations in joint letters with State Board of Education (SBE) President Michael Kirst detailing concerns about the proposed regulations and making recommendations to address those concerns. You may review those letters and the proposed regulations on the California Department of Education (CDE) ESSA Web page at ED has indicated that it plans to address public comment and finalize the regulations by the end of this year. Once the regulations are finalized, the CDE will inform LEAs of the potential impact on California’s implementation of ESSA programs. We are also tracking the transition to a new federal administration and will notify LEAs if this will have an effect on ESSA implementation. California ESSA Consolidated State Plan As part of California’s transition to ESSA, California must submit an ESSA State Plan to ED. The State Plan will describe the State’s implementation of standards, assessment, accountability, and assistance programs and will move us toward California’s goal of having a single, coherent local, state, and federal education system. California has elected to submit a consolidated State Plan, which will address several ESSA programs in a coherent and integrated way. California will not be able to finalize its State Plan until final regulations are available. However, there are many State Plan components that are not contingent upon regulations. Therefore, the CDE is moving forward with the development of the State Plan to ensure stakeholders have sufficient time and opportunity to inform the State Plan, regardless of the status of regulations. The CDE intends to steadily develop, and make available for public comment, three successive drafts of the plan over the next several months with new plan sections added to the document as new information becomes available. The first draft of the ESSA Consolidated State Plan was presented to the SBE at its November meeting and is now available for public comment on the CDE Web site at To help facilitate local conversations regarding the plan, the CDE has developed the ESSA Stakeholder Engagement Toolkit available on the CDE Web site at On this Web site you will find the State Plan Development Timeline, overview...

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