Parents or eligible
students have the right to inspect and review all of the student’s
education records maintained by the school. Schools are not
required to provide copies of materials in education records
unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible
for parents or eligible students to inspect the records. Schools
may charge a fee for copies.
Parents and eligible
students have the right to request that a school correct records
believed 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 commenting on the contested information in the record.
Generally schools must
have written permission from the parent or eligible student
before releasing any information from a student’s record.
However, the law allows schools to disclose records, without
consent to the following parties:
who have a need to know
Other schools to
which a student is transferring
officials in order to carry out lawful functions;
in connection with financial aid to a student;
have obtained court orders or subpoenas;
Persons who need
to know in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
State and local authorities, within a juvenile system,
pursuant to specific State law.
Schools may also disclose,
without consent, “directory” type 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.
REFERENCE: Family Compliance
Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.
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