Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is the federal law that protects the privacy of student education (scholastic) records. An education record is defined as those records that contain information directly related to a student and which are maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution.
FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18, “eligible student,” or is enrolled in a postsecondary institution. Parents and eligible students are granted the following rights:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records
- The right to request that a school correct the student’s education record if he or she believes information is inaccurate or misleading
- The right to a hearing if the school decides not to amend the student’s education record
- The right to place a statement with the education record on what he or she believes is accurate if the school decides not to amend the student’s education record
Schools, generally, must have written consent from the parent or eligible student to release information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows disclosure to certain parties without written consent under certain conditions.
The FERPA does not govern retention or disposition of education records. Virginia public schools, K-12, must comply with the Library of Virginia records retention schedule for public school records (PDF) – Dec. 2014.
- Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) – information from USED
- Parents' Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: Rights Regarding Children’s Education Records – USED
- Balancing Student Privacy and School Safety: A Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act for Elementary and Secondary Schools – USED
- FERPA Guidance & the Disclosure of Student Information Related to Emergencies & Disasters – USED, June 2010
Code of Virginia
Board of Education Regulations
- Management of the Student’s Scholastic Record in the Public Schools of Virginia
- Regulations Governing Secondary School Transcripts
Records Management & Retention
- Library of Virginia records retention schedule for public school records (PDF) – Dec. 2014
- Library of Virginia Records Management
- Library of Virginia Public Schools Records Consortium (PSRC)
- Related Presentations
- Management of Student Education Records (PDF) – Dec. 2007
- Record Management 101: The Basics (PDF) – Dec. 2007