The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 guarantees parental access to student education records, while limiting the disclosure of those records to third parties. The act, sometimes referred to as the Buckley Amendment, was designed to address parents’ growing concerns over privacy and the belief that parents should have the right to learn about the information schools were using to make decisions concerning their children.
No substantial legislative changes have been made to FERPA since 2001, but in 2011, the Department of Education (ED) issued controversial new regulations that, among other things, permit educational agencies and institutions to disclose personally identifiable information to third parties for purposes of conducting audits or evaluations of federal- or state-supported education programs. These regulations are discussed below, as is a recently dismissed lawsuit challenging ED’s new rules.
Date of Report: November 19, 2013
Number of Pages: 10
Order Number: RS22341
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