Assembly Ed Releases Host of Leg Related to Student Data Privacy and STEM / Computer Science Training for Kids

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The Assembly Education Committee took testimony on several measures at their September 22 meeting including several bills related to data privacy as well as two measures related to curricula in science, technology and math.   

Curricular Bills

The body moved two measures associated with changes in curriculum.   The first,  A-3440 / S2032 (Riley / Diegnan / Fuentes / Codey / Turner),  looks to incorporate computer science standards into the existing science, math and technology curricula where appropriate.  Specifically, the bill requires State Board of Education to develop rigorous computer science curriculum guidelines into the standards and then asks school districts to incorporate these guidelines in grades six through 12.  NJPSA worked diligently on the bill to ensure that existing standards would be modified by the Department rather than create a whole new computer science standard. 

NJPSA Testimony

The second measure,  A-1468 (Diegnan), establishes a new Task Force on Engineering Curriculum and Instruction.  he task force will consist of 10 members, including the Commissioner of Education and nine public members appointed by the Governor from various education stakeholders, including NJPSA.  The task force is charged with making recommendations to the State Board of Education on how to incorporate engineering curriculum into the K-12 science curriculum.  The task force must review the Next Generation Science Standards in its efforts to develop innovative ways to teach engineering to public school students.  NJPSA advocated to be included on the body.

Data Privacy Bills

Also heard were several measures related to student data privacy.  These include:

  • A-2724 (Rible) which requires the State Board of Education to develop regulations to provide a parent, guardian, or adult student with the opportunity to opt to have a student’s record removed prior to the Department of Education submitting individual student records to any agency of the federal government or nongovernmental entity.  The department would be required to annually notify parents, guardians, and adult students of their right to remove a student’s records from such a data submission, and allow a minimum of 30 business days to receive a response; and
  • A-3147 (Singleton / Jasey) – which prohibits cloud computing service providers from disclosing an educational record collected or maintained by the cloud computing service provider to any person other than a student, teacher, or staff member of the school.  The legislation also requires a cloud computing service provider to certify in writing to a district that it will comply with the terms and conditions set forth in the bill.  A violator would be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for a first offense and not more than $10,000 for any subsequent offense. 

Other Legislation

Finally, the Committee approved a measure, A-1499 (DeAngelo), requiring school business officials to annually report to a board of education on district contracts.    to annual reporting to Boards on district contracts.  Also approved was a measure, A-2902 (Eustace), to compel the Executive County Superintendent to provide financial and educational impact data in instances where a district seeks to withdraw from or dissolve a limited purpose regional school district.   In addition, the committee approved a bill, A-1466 (Diegnan / O'Donnell / Mainor), which allows for the waiver of school bus requirements for mobility assistance vehicle technicians who transport students with medical needs to and from school.