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2001 Opinions

Date:   April 17, 2001
Prepared By:   Margaret O'Sullivan Parker
Phone:   (850) 488-7707
Suncom:   278-7707
Opinion No.:   01-06
Staff Contact:   Monya Newmyer
TO: Daniel Woodring, Esquire
Office of the Governor
FROM: James A. Robinson, General Counsel
SUBJECT: Request for Student Data
RE: Discussions on April 20, 2001, with Governor's Office of Policy and Budget

QUESTION PRESENTED: May certain identifiable student information of Bright Future Scholarship (BFS) recipients be disclosed to the Executive office of the Governor?

CONCLUSION: Yes. We are releasing the data to the Governor's Office of Policy and Budget pursuant to Section 228.093(3)(d)5., F.S., with the understanding that the data will be returned or destroyed when no longer needed for the purpose intended. Please have the appropriate OPB person contact Sue Jones to 140-5172 to arrange the transfer of the data.

DISCUSSION: It is our understanding that this information will be matched against CLEP scores of these students, which is held by the College Board, for the purpose of assessing the amount of credits earned by BFS recipients prior to matriculation at a postsecondary institution.

Section 228.093, Florida Statutes, generally provides that student records are confidential and exempt from disclosure without the written consent of the parent or an eligible student. However, Section 228.093(3)(d)5., Florida Statutes, provides the following.

Individuals or organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of an institution or a board of education for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests, administering pupil or student aid programs, or improving instruction, of such studies are conducted in such a manner as will not permit the personal identification of pupils or student and their parents by persons other than representatives of such organizations and if such information will be destroyed when no longer needed for the purpose of conducting such studies.

The request falls within this exception. Please let me know if you need anything further.

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