May 21, 2024

Is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. It gives parents certain rights to their children’s education records, and it gives students certain rights to their own education records once they reach the age of 18.

FERPA applies to all schools that receive federal funding, including public schools, private schools, and colleges and universities. It also applies to any entity that maintains education records on behalf of a school, such as a school district or a state education agency.

Under FERPA, parents have the right to:

  • Inspect and review their child’s education records.
  • Request that the school correct any inaccurate or misleading information in their child’s education records.
  • Prevent the school from releasing their child’s education records without their consent, except in certain limited circumstances.

Students have the same rights as parents once they reach the age of 18. They also have the right to:

  • Receive their education records in an electronic format.
  • File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if they believe their FERPA rights have been violated.

There are a few exceptions to protections. Schools may release student education records without parental consent in certain limited circumstances, such as:

  • To school officials who need to see the records in order to fulfill their educational responsibilities.
  • To law enforcement officials if the records are needed for law enforcement purposes.
  • To the school’s attorney if the records are needed in connection with a legal proceeding.
  • To accrediting agencies.
  • To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.

FERPA is an important law that protects the privacy of student education records. It gives parents and students certain rights to their education records, and it helps to ensure that these records are used only for educational purposes.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind about FERPA:

  • The school must obtain written consent from the parent or eligible student before disclosing any personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA permits disclosure without consent.
  • The school must give parents and eligible students a copy of their child’s or their own education records within 45 days of receiving a request for those records.
  • The school must inform parents and eligible students of their rights under FERPA and how to exercise those rights.
  • The school must keep education records secure and protect them from unauthorized access, disclosure, or alteration.

If you have any questions about FERPA, you should contact the school where your child attends or the school where you attended.