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Are You Ready for the New Student ID Requirements?

5/28/2015

Commencing June 1, 2015, Louisiana schools must adhere to several new restrictions and requirements regarding student identification and students’ personal information. This is the latest step in a process designed by the State in 2014 to protect students from identity theft. The new statutes on student information apply to all public schools, including charter schools, the governing authority for each charter school, and any education management organization under contract to operate a charter school.

Per Louisiana Revised Statute 17:3914, the Louisiana Department of Education has developed a unique student identification system to be used in lieu of students’ social security numbers. The Local Education Authority (LEA) is required to assign each individual student a new “Secure Student ID” under that system by June 1. Additionally, starting June 1, no official or employee of a public school shall provide a student’s “personally identifiable information” to any person or public or private entity or to any member of the school board, without parent permission, except as required to comply with state and federal auditing, assessment and reporting requirements.

The statute defines “personally identifiable information” of a student as information about an individual that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single individual, including but not limited to the following:

  • any information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual's identity such as full name, social security number, date and place of birth, mother's maiden name, or biometric records,
  • information that is linked or linkable to an individual such as medical, educational, financial, and employment information, or
  • two or more pieces of information that separately or when linked together can be used to reasonably ascertain the identity of the person.

Persons who violate any provision of the statute are subject to punishment by imprisonment for not more than six months or by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars.

Several other measures adopted through the statute went into effect on August 1, 2014. These include legal restrictions on who may be granted access to computer systems containing the personal identification information of students, restrictions on the disposal of the personal information of students stored on school computer systems, and requirements that entities contracting with schools restrict access to student information that they are provided.