Urgent Calls Needed: Bill Introduced in Congress to Create Massive New Federal Data Collection
Please read the message below from HSLDA. We urge you to call your U.S. representative immediately at the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. The Capitol Switchboard will connect you to your representative or you can look your representative up online by going to HSLDA’s Legislative Toolbox.
Urgent Calls Needed:
Bill Introduced in Congress to Create Massive New Federal Data Collection
Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:
A bill recently introduced in Congress will create a massive new federal data collection of students during and after college. H.R. 2434, titled the “College Transparency Act,” would allow numerous federal departments and agencies to collect and retain a wide range of information on students attending and graduating from colleges and universities.
Urgent Action Needed
We urge you to call your U.S. representative immediately at the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, and give him or her this simple message:
“I urge you to oppose H.R. 2434, the College Transparency Act. While well-intentioned, this bill would open the door to massive new federal government data collection on college students and college graduates. There are better ways to fight the problem of high student debt. More federal data collection and databases is not the right solution.”
Then, please forward this email to your friends and family, whether or not they are homeschoolers. Every single student who attends a college or university in the future would be impacted by H.R. 2434, were it to pass into law.
College Transparency Act Creates Seamless Federal Database Integration
H.R. 2434 calls for the seamless integration of databases across federal agencies. Page 8 of the bill authorizes the U.S. Department of Education to “enter into sharing agreements, with other Federal agencies to create secure linkages with relevant Federal data system.”
This will allow the U.S. Department of Education to access data from federal departments and agencies such as the Department of the Treasury (including the IRS), the Social Security Administration, and the Census Bureau.
Furthermore, Page 7 of H.R. 2434 allows the U.S. Department of Education to decide what information to collect. This opens the door for a major invasion of privacy for college students and graduates.
H.R. 2334 is intended to further studies on what college graduates in various majors earn, so that students entering college can make more informed choices about their course of study and taking out loans. H.R. 2434 does not create any new data collection programs or databases for K-12 students, whether homeschooled, public schooled, or private schooled. It also includes language prohibiting the U.S. Department of Education from collecting certain student information, including student discipline records, elementary and secondary education, political affiliation, religious affiliation.
Nevertheless, HSLDA believes that the danger posed by the bill is too great. If H.R. 2434 were passed into law, it would substantially advance attempts to create a national system of cradle-to-career data tracking on students. All it would take would be for future policy makers to link existing P-12 data systems to this new data collection, and cradle-to-career data tracking would be accomplished. And there are better ways to help potential college students avoid high debt without giving the federal government vast new authority to collect data on college students and graduates.
In addition, H.R. 2434 repeals the 2008 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act’s ban on the creation of a federal student-unit-record system. This prohibition has protected college students from having their personal information collected and released to the government without consent. Without this prohibition, there is nothing standing in the way of the federal government collecting massive amounts of information, both as proposed in H.R. 2434, and in any number of future programs.
HSLDA is a member of the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, and this provision in H.R. 2434 is why the coalition also strongly opposes the bill.
HSLDA has long been concerned about the rise of such federal databases and data sharing for many reasons, a number of which are presented in The Dawning Database. We believe that H.R. 2434 would erase the last remaining gap in the federal government’s ability to keep track of its citizens from the time they enter school until the time they retire from the workforce.
HSLDA will fight to ensure that H.R. 2434 never passes Congress, or is signed into law. You can join HSLDA to help us fight for student privacy, and to make sure you are notified of any hearings or votes on this bill. Together, we can defeat the latest attempt to increase the power and scope of big government data collection over our children and grandchildren.
This email was forwarded to you by:
Roy Hanson and Nathan Pierce
Family Protection Ministries
PO Box 730
Lincoln, CA 95648
Permission given to forward this Action Alert unaltered to your friends, church, school, and group.