Federal Law protect the privacy of	student education records

Federal Law protect the privacy of student education records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part
99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law
applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S.
Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records.
These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a
school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are
“eligible students.”

  • Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the
    student’s education records maintained by the school. Schools are not
    required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great
    distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the
    records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
  •  Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school
    correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the
    school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student
    then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still
    decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the
    right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view
    about the contested information.
  •  Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or
    eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s
    education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those
    records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following
    conditions (34 CFR § 99.31)
  •  School officials with legitimate educational interest;
  •  Other schools to which a student is transferring;
  •  Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  •  Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the
  •  Accrediting organizations;
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; an
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s
name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and
dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about
directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of
time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools
must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The
actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student
handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.

For additional information, you may call 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327) Or Contact FTC at the following address:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-8520


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