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Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)

What is the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)

FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and it has been created to help protect the private information and records of students who attend schools throughout the state of California. This Federal Act applies to every educational institution that is currently being funded by California’s Department of Education. These institutions must stay in compliance with this Act.

Who is subject to FERPA Compliance?

The Act applies to all educational institutions that are receiving federal funding.

What are my Rights Under FERPA?

The Act allows a student or previous student the right to examine and review their education records. The right to seek to alter those records and the right to have a degree of control over the disclosure of information from those specific records.

Who does FERPA Protect?

Students of any age or status relative to parental dependency, who currently are or previously were enrolled in an institution of higher education. Under specially defined conditions, parents of students who are deemed “dependent” for income tax purposes may have access to the student’s educational files. Those students who have gone through the application process but have not attended an institution are not covered by FERPA.

Why is FERPA Important?

FERPA is significant because current and former students deserve to have their privacy secured at all times. Students trust their faculty and staff to keep their sensitive student records confidential, and accessible to them at all times, should they need it.

At the same time, the school authorities may require occasional access to portions of this information to assist them in making decisions for the school. The state may also require access to information in an effort to maintain education quality or to design new educational strategies. In some cases, there may be parents who are interested in seeing their child’s records. It is important for teachers to familiarize themselves on what the law says about the many variations of educational records and their accessibility rights. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a legislation that is pertinent to education agencies, institutions, and schools.

Where can I find more information about FERPA?

To learn more, visit this link:  https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa

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