State Data Legislation Roundup

by Michelle Massie
March 27, 2014

WDQC has followed several state data legislative proposals. Here are some updates on those state actions:

Indiana
On Monday, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law the House Enrolled Act No. 1003, which would bring together data from K-12 schools, colleges, the state’s workforce development agency and businesses to enable trend analysis and to help schools adapt to employer needs. Under the law, Gov. Pence would appoint an executive director to a new stand-alone agency to track and study longitudinal data. Oversight would be provided by the executive director and a committee of workforce and education state officials.

The law renamed the state’s longitudinal data system from the Indiana Workforce Intelligence System (IWIS) to the Indiana Network of Knowledge (INK). The new law also transferred administration and oversight of the longitudinal data system from the Indiana Career Council to a governance committee and an executive director appointed by the governor.

The governance committee would consist of: (1) the commissioner of the department of workforce development; (2) the commissioner of the commission for higher education; (3) the superintendent of public instruction; (4) a member representing private colleges and universities appointed by the governor; (5) a member representing the business community appointed by the governor; and (6) the INK executive director, who serves in an advisory capacity.

Indiana’s longitudinal data system currently integrates state administrative data, including higher education student enrollment and graduation records, employment and unemployment insurance (UI) wage records, UI benefit claims records, claimant demographics, additional geographic and demographic detail from the Indiana Department of Revenue, Trade Adjustment Assistance program data, Workforce Investment Act (WIA) participant data, Wagner-Peyser program data, and adult education records.

New Jersey
Last week, New Jersey lawmakers proposed a package of 20 bills designed to increase graduation rates, make schools more accountable and cut tuition.

Five bills in the package would require colleges to be held more accountable for their graduation rates, fee hikes, student debt rates and other statistics. Under one of the proposed pieces of legislation, state funding would be partially based on a public college's performance.

Of particular interest to WDQC, one bill  would require the development of a comprehensive longitudinal statewide data system capable of retaining individual-level information starting when a student enrolls in pre-school through entry into the workforce to better inform education and labor policies.

New Jersey’s current partial longitudinal data system does not connect P-12 data to postsecondary or track an individual into the workforce, although state agencies are working towards this through grants from the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education. The newly legislated system will connect workforce and employment data with the administrative data systems of P-12 and postsecondary education in New Jersey. The law also requires the establishment of a P-20 Longitudinal Data System Task Force, which will develop policies and recommendations on matters such as data elements to be maintained in the system and the feasibility of collecting postsecondary education and employment data for inclusion in the system for individuals who graduated from a public secondary school in the state, and subsequently moved out-of-state.

Maine
Maine’s proposed “Know Before You Go” legislation recently advanced through the state legislature with unanimous support of the Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future. The bill, LD 1746, sponsored by House Majority Leader Seth Berry would provide students and families with more information on employment and earnings outcomes for graduates of Maine colleges and universities as they make decisions about higher education. Policymakers may benefit as well as they use aggregate information to assess higher education needs and trends in the state’s job market. 

As amended, the bill would create a task force of 15 members to develop procedures around the maintenance and dissemination of the data, which is already held by the state Department of Labor and Department of Education. Next, the bill goes to the House floor.

Utah
Last week, Utah’s SB 34, Statewide Data Alliance and Utah Futures, passed the Senate and was sent to the governor. The bill proposed a Utah Education and Workforce Alliance, a consortium run by a governing board of business, education and government representatives. The goal would be to create a statewide data system with public education, higher education and workforce data.

The Utah Data Alliance, a consortium already focused on similar data, would be folded into the new alliance.

The bill would require the new alliance board to decide whether Utah Futures — a website to help guide high school students to make career and college choices — should be outsourced to a private company.

WDQC will continue to identify and publicize state actions that attempt to enhance their workforce data capacity.