Research, State Advocacy

State Data Legislation

State Data Legislation

Data is a critical tool for answering states’ policy questions and meeting education and workforce goals. Legislators have the power to introduce legislation that enables access to data for individuals, the public, and policymakers alike by establishing data governance, funding state data systems, centering privacy, and more. As legislators continue to use data as a critical tool to help advance their state’s education and workforce priorities, they should explore ways they can use their unique role to create and promote policies that support the ability of both state-level decisionmakers and the communities they serve to use data and take action to support better outcomes. This page showcases DQC’s reviews of state education and workforce data legislation since 2014.

Education and Workforce Data Legislation Review: What Happened in 2023?

In 2023, DQC’s review of data-related legislation found that three states introduced and enacted legislation addressing cross-agency data governance—the most important step that states must take to make robust access to data possible.

Education Data Legislation Review: What Happened in 2022?

In 2022, state legislators crafted new policies that govern the use of data from early childhood through workforce. This year’s data-related bills addressed two realities: people need data and to understand and address emerging issues, state leaders have new data needs and policy goals. Moving forward, state leaders must continue to make investments in their state’s data systems and continue to create policies that will ensure that everyone—from individuals to policymakers—can use data to support decisionmaking.

Education Data Legislation Review: 2021 State Activity

In 2021, state legislators remained focused on using data to address COVID-19 and its impact on education and the workforce. Although there was a marked increase in the number of bills introduced this year, this level of legislative activity focused on education data is not new, and the COVID-19 pandemic left unique footprints on policymakers’ legislative priorities.

Education Data Legislation Review: 2020 State Activity

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted legislative sessions and prompted legislators to introduce and pass education data legislation to address the immediate priorities such as student well-being and online learning access. Overall, policymakers continued the work to make data more accessible and transparent for students, parents, educators, and the public at-large. Additionally, more than twenty percent of this year’s bills govern data outside of K–12, continuing a legislative trend of using data to improve student experiences in early childhood, postsecondary, and the workforce.

Education Data Legislation Review: 2019 State Activity

In 2019, legislators on both sides of the aisle in nearly every state proposed legislation addressing the use of data to inform decisionmaking to support students on their path to success. Through proposed legislation, many of these policymakers took steps to improve the foundational data systems and processes that make data work for students and to embed data use within broader proposals to improve public education. This year, legislation highlighted education data as a critical tool for answering states’ policy questions and meeting education goals— from early childhood to K–12, postsecondary, and the workforce.

Education Data Legislation Review: 2018 State Activity