Exceptions to FERPA Compliance

FERPA contains a number of exceptions that allow for the disclosure of education records without consent.[i]  Student education records directly related to the student may be disclosed:

  1. to “other school officials, including teachers within the educational institution or local educational agency, who have been determined by such agency or institution to have legitimate educational interests, including the educational interests of the child for whom consent would otherwise be required;”[ii]
  2. to officials of other schools or school systems in which the student seeks or intends to enroll”[iii] as long as the parents receive notification of the disclosure and have access to the disclosed records and an opportunity to challenge the records upon condition that the student’s parents be notified of the transfer, receive a copy of the record if desired, and have an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of the record;[iv]
  3. to the “authorized representatives of…the Comptroller General of the United States…the Secretary [of Education]…or…State educational authorities…or…authorized representatives of the Attorney General for law enforcement purposes…;”[v]
  4. in connection with a student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid;”[vi]
  5. to “State and local officials or authorities”[vii] in connection with proceedings in the juvenile justice system;[viii]
  6. to organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs, and improving instruction, if such studies are conducted in such a manner as will not permit the personal identification of students and their parents by persons other than representatives of such organizations and such information will be destroyed when no longer needed for the purpose for which it is conducted;”[ix]
  7. to “accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting functions;”[x]
  8. to “parents of a dependent student”[xi] as defined by the Internal Revenue Service;[xii]
  9. “subject to regulations of the Secretary, in connection with an emergency, [to] appropriate persons if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons;”[xiii]
  10. to “the entity or persons designated in a Federal grand jury subpoena: or “the entity or persons designated in any other subpoena issued for a law enforcement purpose;”[xiv] and
  11. to “the Secretary of Agriculture, or authorized representative from the Food and Nutrition Service or contractors acting on behalf of the Food and Nutrition Service, for the purposes of conducting program monitoring, evaluations, and performance.”[xv]

Text adapted from Vavricka, J. “Making FERPA Work for our Nation’s Children,” Second Year Seminar Paper, University of Hawai’i, William S. Richardson School of Law, July 10, 2012.

 


[i] See 20 U.S.C.A. 1232(g)(b) (West 2012).

[ii] 20 U.S.C.A. § 1232g(b)(1)(A) (West 2012).

[iii] 20 U.S.C.A. § 1232g(b)(1)(B) (West 2012).

[iv] See id.

[v] 20 U.S.C.A. § 1232g(b)(1)(C) (West 2012).

[vi] 20 U.S.C.A. § 1232g(b)(1)(D) (West 2012).

[vii] 20 U.S.C.A. § 1232g(b)(1)(E) (West 2012).

[viii] Id.

[ix] 20 U.S.C.A. § 1232g(b)(1)(F) (West 2012).

[x] 20 U.S.C.A. § 1232g(b)(1)(G) (West 2012).

[xi] 20 U.S.C.A. § 1232g(b)(1)(H) (West 2012).

[xii] See id.

[xiii] 20 U.S.C.A. § 1232g(b)(1)(I) (West 2012).

[xiv] 20 U.S.C.A. § 1232g(b)(1)(J) (West 2012).

[xv] 20 U.S.C.A. § 1232g(b)(1)(K) (West 2012).