AG: TN schools must give student data to charters

In a legal opinion, Attorney General Herbert Slatery’s office says Tennessee school districts must turn over student information data to charter school operators.

Slatery effectively sides with Education Commissioner Candice McQueen, who requested the opinion in a dispute with Nashville and Memphis school systems.

Further from Chalkbeat Tennessee:

McQueen quickly responded by ordering school leaders in Memphis and Nashville to comply. In letters dispatched to Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson and Director Shawn Joseph of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, McQueen gave the districts a deadline of next Monday, adding that they will face consequences if they refuse.

“If you do not provide this information by Sept. 25, 2017, to the (Achievement School District) and any other charter school or charter authorizer who has an outstanding request, we will be forced to consider actions to enforce the law,” she wrote.

… School board leaders in both districts said Thursday that their attorneys were reviewing the matter. 

Chris Caldwell, chairman for Shelby County’s board, said he’s also concerned “whether the timeframe stated gives us enough time to make sure families are aware of what is happening.”

Wednesday’s flurry of events heats up the battle that started in July when charter operators Green Dot and LEAD requested student contact information under the state’s new charter law, which gives districts 30 days to comply with such requests. School boards in both Memphis and Nashville refused, arguing they had the right under the federal student privacy law to restrict who gets the information and for what reasons.

The attorney general said sharing such information would not violate federal law.

Note: The full opinion is HERE.

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