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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and all students certain rights with respect to education records. These rights extend to students in all grade levels, beginning in preschool and extending through their years in postsecondary institutions.

As more and more information management systems become electronic and accessible online, it is important to remain mindful about protecting student privacy and with whom and how student information should be shared.

To assist you in reviewing your district’s FERPA policies and communicating with parents and students about those policies, we have compiled the following resources:

US Department of Education Resources:

Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO)

The mission of the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) is to meet the needs of the Department's primary customers--learners of all ages--by effectively implementing two laws that seek to ensure student and parental rights in education: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA).

Contact information:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-8520
Phone: 202-260-3887


National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) FERPA Resources & Links:

National Forum on Educational Statistics has put together three publications relating to privacy issues concerning FERPA.

  • Forum Guide to the Privacy of Student Information: A Resource for Schools (2006) - This guide helps school and local education agency staff to better understand and apply FERPA, a federal law that protects privacy interests of parents and students in student education records.
  • Forum Guide to Protecting the Privacy of Student Information: State and Local Education Agencies(2004) - This document presents a general overview of privacy laws and professional practices that apply to information collected for, and maintained in, student records. The document also provides an overview of key principles and concepts governing student privacy, summarizes Federal privacy laws and recent changes to them, identifies issues concerning the release of information to both parents and external organizations, and suggests good data management practices for schools, districts, and state education agencies.
  • Privacy Issues in Education Staff Records (2000) - This report addresses key concepts in protecting and managing information in staff records. It does not provide legal guidelines, but does address the federal Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts and offers principles of best practice.


For additional information, E-Mail: Dennis St. Hilaire