USED Regulation Review Targets Student and Parent Rights under FERPA

     

In July 2017 I wrote a blog about the U.S. Department of Education (USED) requesting comments on regulatory reform. The reason for the USED action is Trump’s executive order requiring each federal agency to establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to evaluate existing regulations and make recommendations regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification.

In late September 2017, the USED posted a request for comments in the Federal Register regarding an information collection. The abstract for the request is brief. It says, “The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires that subject educational agencies and institutions notify parents and students of their rights under FERPA and requires that they record disclosures of personally identifiable information from education records, with certain exceptions.” The type of review that is being requested by USED is for “revision of an existing information collection.”

It is unlikely that USED is considering repealing the requirement to notify parents and eligible students (students age 18 or older) of their rights under FERPA. It is more likely that they are considering a modification or replacement of this information collection based on Trump’s executive order. But it is quite possible that this is just part of the normal process where USED “provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on . . . continuing collections of information.” You can find information on how to comment in the Federal Register posting (click on the link in second paragraph).

When it comes to the educational rights of parents and students, ensuring that parents and eligible students know their rights is important. Notifying or in some way informing parents and eligible students of their rights is essential so that those rights can be exercised.

Ensuring that parents and eligible students know their rights regarding the disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII) is crucial, especially for those parents or students in situations where such disclosure could put them in some sort of danger or compromising situation. Regardless of whether or not the disclosure of PII could cause a problem, keeping parents informed, especially of their educational rights, is a key component of parent and family engagement, an ESSA requirement.

TransACT’s ESSA Parent Notice Collection includes notifications that address the requirement for districts to notify parents and eligible students of their rights under FERPA (ESEA/ESSA Section 8528). Subscribers to the ESSA Parent Notice Collection have what they need at their fingertips when it comes to meeting the FERPA requirements.

If you have any questions, or for more information about TransACT’s Parent Notices and other products, please contact us at 425.977.2100, Option 3 or email at support@transact.com.

About The Author

Dr. David Holbrook is a nationally recognized leader in federal programs administration and monitoring with expertise in Title I, Title III,Native American Education, and Federal Programs. Dr. Holbrook has also worked as a consultant with Title III of the US Department of Education and now serves as Executive Director of Federal Programs for TransACT.