Last updated: February 13. 2014 6:09PM - 1080 Views

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Dear Editor,

I have contacted Sen. Donna Boley, who serves on the West Virginia Senate Education committee. I believe Point Pleasant Register readers would be interested in Senate Bill 420.

(Quoting Sen. Boley):

“A bill was introduced in Senate Education this week, SB 420. I did intensive research because it was about the sharing of student and workforce data. It is called P-20W Longitudinal Data System. On the agenda, it appeared as SB 420. However, much to my dismay, when the bill was brought up, it was Committee Substitute for SB 420. The bill had been changed, so we were not given the original SB 420 but one changed by ‘who knows who.’ It took some time to understand that the purpose of the Committee Substitute was to add Child Care (those in child care centers — say the 3-month old to pre-kindergarten) to those the government will be collecting data and sharing with ‘researchers’ and ‘vendors.’ It’s like pulling teeth to find out who the ‘researchers’ or ‘vendors’ will be.

“One of the things I disliked about the bill is that there is no mention of parental consent or even parental notification of any of this. This was verified by the Counsel for the Department of Education. The bill sets up a system that gathers data that will be on record from the ‘cradle to the grave.’ The State Supreme Court, Workforce Development, Education community and now Child Care are all included. There are approximately 500 child care centers whose enrollment can be anywhere from 20-60 in each Center.”

This creates a structure through which the government can track citizens throughout their entire lives. It purports adherence to FERPA (the federal student-privacy law). It is meaningless since FERPA was gutted by the Obama administration and now allows practically unlimited sharing of data without parental consent or even knowledge.

I simply am having a hard time understanding why our young children in child care centers have to share information without the parents knowledge or consent. If anyone out there can give me a good reason, I am willing to listen. I understand no other state does this.

Alice Click

Mt. Alto

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