Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): Protecting a Students Future
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or more common as the Buckley Amendment, describes the protection of student educational records by covered educational institutions. FERPA affords privacy to both parents and students with regard to how educational records are disclosed. The amendment covers schools and other educational institutions that receive government funding through their programs. Moreover, schools that impose policies denying parents or guardians access to their student’s records will not be allocated with funds from applicable government programs.
The regulation also identifies materials considered as education records, and whether they are to be disclosed with or without written authority by the student. Among these records include physical and psychological examination results, grades, personal information, and academic achievements. Parents or guardians wanting to monitor their student’s performance in school can always use the provisions of the amendment to legally acquire the needed information. However, these rights will be transferred to the student upon reaching 18 which turns the child to a legal student. In addition, parents who are covered with the disability act can request for a representative to perform the review of educational records on their behalf.
Concerning the directory information used by educational institutions, by its nature, this information is at all times available for release. However, a student can restrict the release and listing of directory information. This means, that any issuance of directory information despite a current hold is a clear violation of the provisions of FERPA.
The right to correct erroneous entries in students’ educational record is also among the things addressed in FERPA. Parents or students can always contend to the validity of the information included in the education record. For errors found on the entries, concerned parties can request for the information to be corrected. Students have the right to request for a proper hearing when the institution declines to correct entries believed to be erroneous or misleading.
Educational agencies practicing the amendments must perform an annual notification of these rights to students or parents concerning FERPA. This should include things such as the authority to review education records, how the review of records can be performed, request for amendments on the records, the right to file complaints, among others. This should help parents and legal students of their rights afforded with FERPA.