SB 420 – WV’s Cradle To Grave Tracking

Filed in Action Items, Helpful Articles, News by on March 3, 2014

UPDATE:  SB420 Died in the HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE!  Thanks to all who called and wrote their representatives.  We can make a difference!


 Click Here for Phone Numbers.


SB420 – Relating to SHARING In P-20W LONGITUDINAL DATA SYSTEM, Lead Sponsor: Senate Ed Chairman, Senator Robert Plymale

SB420 requires collection of student data to begin with early childhood and expands access to WV’s  Student Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) to the Bureau of Children and Families, WorkForce WV, and the WV Supreme Court – with no mention of prior parental consent. Click Here To Read the Bill.

When this bill was originally introduced, Jane Robbins, an attorney and Senior Fellow with the American Principles Project, provided the following analysis of SB 420 (bolding emphasis added). 

SB420 Analysis By Jane Robbins

January, 2014





                     Defeat this bill.


General problems:

n  It creates the structure through which the gov’t can track citizens throughout their lives, “beginning with early learning programs [pre-K] and continuing through post-secondary education, entry into the workforce and beyond [to death?].” Not only is this anathema to the American ideals of individual liberty and limited gov’t, but it’s dangerous.

n  Its purported adherence to FERPA (the federal student-privacy law) is meaningless, since FERPA as gutted by the Obama administration now allows practically unlimited sharing of data without parental consent or even knowledge.

n  It allows unlimited “research” by people who make vague assurances about privacy. Research about what? The level of education obtained by, for example, people who have concealed-carry permits? Much mischief can be accomplished in the name of “research.”

n  It allows unlimited data-collection on students – “and any other data necessary for furthering the state’s education and workforce systems . . . .” When states should be strictly limiting the types of data that can be collected, especially in light of the inevitable hacking, this bill goes in exactly the opposite direction. And remember that all this data will be available – presumably to the gov’t and employers – FOREVER. Wouldn’t an employer find it helpful to know which job applicants had anger-management problems in middle school?

n  It’s none of the gov’t business what job my son holds or what he makes.

n  It grants sweeping power to this new commission, with only vague guidelines about what privacy  protections it must impose. If the commission’s mindset is the same as this bill’s author’s, which is a given, those protections will be minimal.

n  It has no concrete requirements for vendors who handle outsourcing.

n  It requires reporting of planned data expansions but contains no mechanism for anyone to thwart those expansions.

n  It allows disclosure of data to “authorized representatives” of researchers without defining AR. Under the gutted FERPA, an authorized rep can be the guy who works in the parking garage.


n  Why is the court system included in this?

It can’t be fixed. Kill it.



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  1. Deborah Elliott Spears says:

    I feel that you should vote no to this our government has turned to socializm. What has happened to our democracy? It is time start standing up for ourselves and time for elected people to vote the way we the voters want.