Sec. 323.019: Statistical and Demographic Information and Studies

(a) The council may gather and analyze information relating to public education and other public services for the purpose of conducting statistical and demographic research and producing reports.

(b) State agencies in each branch of government shall cooperate with the council in the gathering of information and the production of reports under this section and shall provide information as requested by the council to the maximum extent permitted by state or federal law.

(c) In order to develop and evaluate legislative policy, the council is entitled to collect data from any state agency, including data that is confidential under state or federal law. In addition to other uses consistent with this section, the council may use data collected for the purpose of matching data from various agencies. Confidential data collected by the council does not lose its character as confidential information because of its collection by the council, and the providing of that data to the council does not constitute a release of the information by the state agency. For the limited purpose of collecting and matching data subject to 20 U.S.C. Section 1232g or other federal law governing education records, employees of the council are considered state school officials.

(d) The council is subject to any federal law governing the release of or providing access to any personally identifiable information to the same extent as the agency from which the data is collected. The council may not release or distribute the data to any individual member of the legislature, or to any other person, in a form that contains personally identifiable information.

(e) In collecting personally identifiable information under this section, the council and the state agency from which the data is collected shall cooperate in the confidential handling of the data, such as the encoding, decoding, and reencoding of the information. Personally identifiable information may be used by the council solely for the purpose of statistical and policy analysis, including data matching, and must be destroyed immediately when no longer needed for that analysis.

(f) Using information collected and matched under this section, the council may produce and release statistical data that does not include any personally identifiable information.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1585, Sec. 2, eff. June 20, 1999.