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Amendments To FERPA

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 amendments published April 8, 2011 are designed to facilitate fuller access for research and evaluation purposes to student data contained in state longitudinal data systems in order to increase accountability and transparency for educational outcomes.

The changes effective January 3,  2012 include:

  • Broadening categories of individuals/entities that may receive data for evaluation audit purposes
  • Authorizing disclosure from postsecondary institutions to k-12 officials for evaluating the k-12 programs
  • Extending the definition of “educational programs” under the evalutation/audit provisions to include early childhood programs, early childhood education, career and technical education, and job training programs;
  • Permitting state or local agency disclosures for research studies.
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