Release of Staff Information

Release of Staff Information

The federal No Child Left Behind law requires districts to notify parents about their right to request information related to the professional qualifications of their child's classroom teacher (http://www.doe.mass.edu/nclb/parents.html). The federal law specifies that parents may request the following information:

 

  • Whether the teacher has met State qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction.
  • Whether the teacher is teaching under an emergency license or waiver through which the State qualifications or licensing criteria have been waived.
  • The baccalaureate degree major of the teacher and any other graduate certification or degree held by the teacher, and the field or discipline of the certification or degree.
  • Whether the child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.

 

Release of Staff Information

In addition to federal requirements, the Massachusetts public records law, M.G.L. c. 66, § 10 and M.G.L. c. 4, § 7 Cl. Twenty-sixth, and the Fair Information Practices Act, M.G.L. c. 66A, govern the disclosure of information by school districts. Certain professional information relating to public employees and members of licensed professions, including public school teachers and administrators, is a public record that may be disclosed upon request.

 

For example, under Massachusetts law any person, whether or not s/he has a child in the school, is entitled to ask for and receive the list of staff members that the school district maintains under the

 

Educator Licensure Regulations (603 CMR 7.00) as well as any other public record information the school district maintains. This public information includes names, certification/licensure status, and degree(s) earned, including field of study and the institution that awarded the degree(s). In contrast, disclosure of additional information may be restricted under the Massachusetts public records law, which exempts from disclosure employees' "personnel and medical files or information; also any other

materials or data relating to a specifically named individual, the disclosure of which may constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy." M.G.L. c. 4, § 7 (26)(c).

 

The Massachusetts public records law does not require the school district to create a document or record that does not already exist; it simply requires the district to provide, upon request, a copy of any public record that the district maintains. The types of information that may be requested:

 

Below is a chart, copied from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education website http://www.doe.mass.edu/nclb/news04/0414hq.html, that outlines the types of information that may be requested and provided under Massachusetts public records laws and the No Child Left Behind Law, as well as the information that should not be given out to the public, including parents, unless the staff member consents to release.  Please see DESE website for updated information.

 

Staff Information the School/District Is Required to Release to Parents and the Public Upon Request

Staff Information the School/District May Not Release to Parents and the Public Unless the Staff Member Consents

Staff names, salary information, position/teaching assignments
 

Certification/Licensure status and areas of certification

Personnel files or information (e.g., employment applications; performance evaluations; disciplinary documentation; promotion, demotion or termination information)

 

Education institutions attended and degrees earned including area(s) of study

Home addresses and home phone numbers of staff

 

Highly Qualified (HQ) status, including how the teacher has achieved HQ status.

Medical files or information (e.g., immunization records, physician reports, health status)

 

Materials or data relating to a specifically named individual, the disclosure of which may constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy (e.g., Social Security number, marital information, personal financial information including tax exemptions)

 

Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI)

Scores on the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) and dates of tests taken

Grades on transcripts or grade point average