Data Sharing Agreement
The three participating state agencies — the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and the New Jersey Department of Education — entered into a five-year data sharing agreement with Rutgers University to determine the terms under which the agencies will share their data to further the New Jersey Education to Earnings Data System, in a manner consistent with applicable federal and state laws.
Data Access & Use Policy
NJEEDS’ Executive Leadership Council is responsible for overseeing the system’s data access and use policies. As a result, the Council has established a comprehensive primer that details NJEEDS’ purpose, authority, the background for this initiative, the various policies, and important definitions mentioned in the policies.
Acceptable Use Guidelines
New Jersey follows strict redaction and suppression guidelines to ensure the privacy of all individuals. The Heldrich Center maintains these guidelines for all data and information used and reported out of the New Jersey Education to Earnings (NJEEDS) or De-Identified Reporting System (DRS) for education and workforce statistics. This process ensures compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 20 U.S.C. 1232g.
The following guidelines were established in May 2016, and are updated at least annually to reflect the most current trends in data security and privacy.
NJEEDS strictly adheres to privacy laws affecting individual student record data and employee or firm data, and is designed to meet or exceed all state and federal privacy laws and requirements. NJEEDS is sensitive to privacy and confidentiality concerns and has established policies and practices to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the data entrusted to the NJEEDS system.
The environments and databases housing the NJEEDS data are separated appropriately and structured to ensure security and compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), including NIST publications 800-52, 800-53, 800-56, 800-57, and related Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) security guidelines (where applicable); and state requirements related to the storage of sensitive education data elements and any data shared by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJLWD), including all Personally Identifiable Information (PII); relative to unemployment compensation data shared by NJLWD. NJEEDS also requires compliance with Section 303(a)(1) of the Social Security Act (SSA), Sections 303(a)(7), (c)(1), (d), (e), (h) and (i) of the SSA, Section 3304(a)(16) of the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), and 20 CFR Part 603. Such partitioned sections of NJEEDS guarantee that data are in fact kept separate, empowering each state agency that provides data to maintain its individual agency governance and security protocols.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) protects the privacy of student education records maintained by or for educational agencies or institutions that receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education. Disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records will only be to a. audit or evaluate a Federal- or State-supported education program; or b. Enforce or comply with Federal legal requirements related to the program. FERPA generally bars disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records without written parent or eligible student consent unless the disclosure comes within a list of authorized disclosures in the law. The regulations are designed to foster more comprehensive use of individual data for educational research, evaluation, accountability, and improvement purposes, while enhancing privacy protections and enforcement. NJEEDS will maintain the system consistent with federal and state laws as they relate to the management and handling of data, including confidential and Personally Identifiable Information as it is defined in FERPA.
Furthermore, the regulations issued pursuant to Section 303(a)(1) of the Social Security Act (SSA), Sections 303(a)(7), (c)(1), (d), (e), (h), and (i) of the SSA, Section 3304(a)(16) of the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) and codified at 20 CFR Part 603 govern the Confidentiality and Disclosure of State Unemployment Compensation Information. NJEEDS is responsible for complying with the provisions of 20 CFR Part 603 relative to its access to and use of State Unemployment Compensation Information in the NJEEDS system.