Tag Archives: FERPA

Smile and Say “Cheese” — When is a Photo an Educational Record under FERPA?

As the myriad of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act  (FERPA) interpretation issues continues to cloud many educators’ understanding of what is permissible and not permissible under the statute, some assistance was recently provided by the U.S. Department of Education. The Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) advises that as with any other “education record,” a photo or video of a student … Continue Reading

State of Connecticut Provides Guidance on Changes to Education Records of Transgender Students

The Connecticut State Department of Education (DOE) recently published guidance on implementing civil rights protections for transgender students. The guidance, in part, provides information on issues related to requests that a school change a student’s education records to be consistent with their chosen name and gender identity. Notably, the guidance recognized tension that may arise … Continue Reading

DOE and DOJ Withdrawl of “Dear Colleague” Letter Leaves FERPA’s Guidance Unresolved

On February 22, 2017, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Education (DOE) withdrew their May 13, 2016 “Dear Colleague” letter that provided guidance on steps to protect transgender students under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) as well as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Although the … Continue Reading

Top Ten Education Developments, Breaches, and Settlements of 2016

This year has been a busy year for education law in the area of data privacy. Educational institutions continue to be a rich target for hackers. Additionally, there were some important developments in the interpretation of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) as it applies to educational … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Education Issues Guidance on Student Medical Records

On September 14, 2016, the Department of Education (DOE) issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” to provide guidance on the application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to the disclosure of student medical records in the context of litigation. FERPA generally prohibits a school from disclosing personally identifiable information from a student’s education … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #54 – Keep Student Data Safe

In the past few years, we have seen the explosion of “big data,” “data analytics,” “data aggregation,” “predictive modeling,” and “data breaches.” None of these terms existed when I graduated from law school. We have seen companies implement amazing technology that has the ability to follow our every step for fitness, locate us through location … Continue Reading

Florida Court Holds Budget Request Forms and Activity and Service Fee Records Not “Educational Records”

On August 11, 2016, a Florida state court judge held that the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees (UCF) must produce budget request forms and activity and service fee database records to Knight News, Inc. (KNI) in response to KNI’s public records request. The records indicate the amount of money paid to each student … Continue Reading

Judge seals transcript of Title IX hearing

A federal judge in North Carolina sealed a transcript of a University of North Carolina (UNC) hearing to determine whether the plaintiff was responsible for committing sexual acts without consent. In the case in question, the defendant brought suit against UNC, Jane Doe, and various school administrators after the Administrative Judicial Board found him responsible … Continue Reading

DOJ and DOE issue guidance on privacy rights of transgender students

On May 13, 2016, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” (DCL) describing reasonable steps to protect transgender students under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) as well as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis … Continue Reading

House Committee examines student data privacy concerns

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce recently held a hearing to evaluate federal policies affecting education research and student privacy. At issue is whether and how Congress will update the 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects student education records and provides how state and local education agencies collect and … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Education issues FERPA guidance related to medical information

In conjunction with the new school year, the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance, in the form of a “Dear Colleague” letter, to higher education institutions to remind them of FERPA’s requirements as they relate to the provision of medical and mental health services to students in higher education institutions. The letter outlines the protections … Continue Reading

Federal student privacy law in flux

In recent months, the White House and members of Congress have called for an overhaul of the forty-year old Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) ((20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99), which safeguards the privacy of students’ educational records. Originally enacted in 1974, FERPA applies only to federal funded elementary, secondary and … Continue Reading
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