Expanded Opportunity for California Community College Districts to Obtain Information about Potential Students from Local Agencies
On September 15, 2022, Governor Newsom approved Assembly Bill No. 2627, which added section 53087.9 to the California Government Code, creating a process by which California Community College districts can obtain information about potential students from state agencies.
Existing law generally prohibited state agencies from sharing electronically collected personal information (name, home address, home and cellular telephone numbers, email addresses and educational history) with third parties except for in very limited circumstances. For example, the California Department of Health & Human Services may provide information about foster youth to local agencies in the foster youth’s jurisdiction, such as the county Department of Health & Human Services, but getting that information to community colleges who could offer educational and other important resources to those individuals when they grow up was exceedingly difficult.
GC 53087.9 specifically allows the governing board of a community college district to enter into a memorandum of understanding with a local agency privy to the state’s database to share that information under strict limitations: 1) the user (potential student) must have provided informed written consent for the state’s disclosure of their information; and 2) the information can only be used to facilitate outreach to and enrollment of individuals within their community college service area.
The community college district must ensure the protection of the user’s identity and must stipulate that only permanent employees whose job duties require such access will handle the data. The data also cannot be used to prepopulate admissions applications or enrollment documents. Upon the first and each subsequent contact with the user, the community college district must also include an opportunity to opt out of future contact.
The attorneys at AALRR are preparing a template MOU for community college districts to use under this new law, which becomes effective on January 1, 2023.
If you have any questions about this new law, please contact your assigned AALRR attorney or any of the authors of this alert.