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Proposed Law Seeks To Stop Release Of Student Information

Legislator Responds To Open Records Request From Pro-Voucher Group

frankjuarez (CC-BY)

A Democratic state lawmaker said he’ll introduce legislation to stop private groups from getting contact information on public school students.

The announcement comes after the group School Choice Wisconsin made a recent freedom of information request for such data. The Green Bay Area Public School District was one of 30 that received the request for student names and information, including home addresses, phone numbers and grade level.

School Choice Wisconsin supports the state’s school voucher system, which would be expanded under Gov. Scott Walker’s recent budget proposal. Representatives from the group have said they plan to use the student information to grow their mailing lists.

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Eric Genrich represents the 90th Assembly District from Green Bay. He contacted School Choice Wisconsin and the group agreed to disregard student names, but not their mailing addresses.

So Genrich will draft legislation to prohibit such actions in the future.

“There is some direction possibly that we can take from federal statutes in this area,” said Genrich. “So we’re looking at that, talking with our staff attorneys and the legal counsel at Green Bay public schools as well as the school boards association.”

The agreement with School Choice Wisconsin only applies to the Green Bay district. Genrich said other districts will have to deal with the issue individually.