PEP Memo on DOE Contracts and Student Privacy (10.19.20)

I sent the below memo to the members of the Panel for Educational Policy last week; questions about their busing contracts, DOE’s lack of compliance with the state student privacy law by failing to post their district data privacy policy and contracts with vendors that have access to personal student data, and problems related to PEP governance.   

Update on busing: After this memo was written, it was also revealed that the DOE is planning purchasing Reliant bus company, for an unknown amount, acquiring one thousand buses and thousands of new employees, with ongoing considerable costs to the DOE budget. As I said to the NY Postthis move raises all sorts of questions, including how can the city afford this in the face of huge budget shortfalls? And why are they adding more city employees while threatening to lay off thousands of others?

Update on the Covid testing contracts:  As of Friday 10/16/20, DOE has now posted the three vendor Parent Bill of Rights agreements here,  after we and others urged them to do so.  We still have concerns about the provisions regarding deletion of the personal student data portions in their Parent Bill of Rights, which do not clearly state when the data is to be deleted and thus do not appear to comply with the state student privacy law Education Law 2D, or regs, which fully came into force January 2020.  There still are no contracts or PBOR posted on the DOE website for the 75+ ed tech companies that DOE has acquired and encouraged teachers to use, many of which also have access to personal student data.

The meeting of the PEP contract is Monday Oct. 19 at 11 AM today; you can see livestream here.  Meeting of the PEP is Wed. Oct 21 at 6 PM; more info including agenda here.  The agenda has a link to the proposed contracts.  You can listen or sign up to speak starting at 5:30 PM here.

Categories Privacy, Reports & Memos, Reports, Testimonies, Etc., Testimonies & Comments, Updates | Tags: , , , , , | Posted on October 19, 2020

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