Celia Llopis-Jepsen reports:
Principals and some other educators in Topeka Unified School District 501 could until last week illegally access data that identifies which of the district’s students come from low-income families.
Four of the district’s schools also displayed the same information — which is protected under federal law as confidential — on color-coded, wall-hanging displays last year.
“I feel confident that this isn’t going to happen again,” superintendent Julie Ford said. “We’re moving on.”
Ford said administrators explain the situation in a letter they just mailed to the Kansas State Department of Education.
The education department last Wednesday informed the school district that the U.S. Department of Agriculture — which is charged with enforcing the confidentiality of the data — is seeking information about USD 501’s data protections. The state education department gave USD 501 until this Friday to respond.
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