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Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act

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

FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and it has been created to assist in protecting the private information and records of students who attend schools in the state of Missouri. This Federal Act applies to every educational institution that is currently being funded by St. Louis’s Department of Education. It is extremely important that these institutions stay in compliance with the components of this act.

Who is subject to FERPA Compliance?

The Act applies to any educational institution that is receiving any federal funding.

What are my Rights Under FERPA?

The Act allows a student or previous student the right to examine and assess their education records stored by the St. Louis education system. You also have the right to view alterations of those records and the right to have some control over the disclosure of information from those particular records.

Who does FERPA Protect?

St. Louis students of any age or status relative to parental dependency, who currently are or were enrolled in an institution of higher education, are protected. Under specifically defined conditions, parents of students who are considered “dependent” for income tax reasons may be given access to the student’s educational files. Students who have gone through the application process but have not attended an institution are not protected by FERPA.

Why is FERPA Important?

FERPA is vital because current and past students deserve to have their privacy secured at all times. Students trust their St. Louis faculty and employees to keep their sensitive student information safe, and available to them at all times, if and when they need it.

At the same time, the school authorities may need periodic access to portions of this information to help them in making decisions for the school. The state may also need access to information in an effort to preserve education quality or to design new educational strategies. In certain instances, there may be parents who are interested in seeing their child’s records. It is essential for teachers to familiarize themselves on what the law says about educational records and their accessibility rights. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a legislation that is applicable 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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