Even Seemingly-Harmless Choice Regulations . . . Aren’t

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(Guest post by Greg Forster)

OCPA carries my article on an illegal data breach of private data on choice families in Arizona…

The Arizona Department of Education handed over a spreadsheet containing private data on participating families to Save Our Schools Arizona, a group that wants to shut down choice programs and restore the government’s monopoly on education.

The sheet gave the names and email addresses of more than 7,000 parents, the grades their children are in, and the children’s disabilities (if any). As the parent of a special-needs student, I’m not interested in hearing from anybody that this was not a grave violation of the privacy of these families. And we’ll be lucky if ideological fanatics, whipped up by the monopoly system’s generations of irresponsible rhetoric demonizing school choice, don’t use this information to target the families for harassment—or worse.

…that has implications for seemingly harmless regulations on choice programs.

Oklahoma is not obligated to wait for the arousal of a slumbering federal law enforcement to take the hint Arizona is giving it. The more private, personal data the state collects—or requires schools to collect and send it—the less privacy we all have. While the data that were illegally released in Arizona might be data that we can’t prevent the government from having if a choice program is going to exist, the lesson for Oklahoma is that there’s more danger in handing over more data.

No need to keep your opinion private; let me know what you think!

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