FERPA

News & Analysis as of

State Legislatures Protect Student Data and Mandate Greater Transparency

Public schools have generated and maintained massive amounts of student information for decades. Standardized test scores, grades, conduct records, psychological and medical information, student assessments, child and parent...more

U.S. Department of Education Issues Guidance on Student Medical Records

On September 14, 2016, the Department of Education (DOE) issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” to provide guidance on the application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to the disclosure of student medical...more

The NLRB Recognizes Student-Employees: The Effect of Columbia University on Private Universities

In August 2016, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) held in a 3-1 decision that undergraduate and graduate student assistants at private colleges and universities are employees under Section 2(3) of the...more

Montana Supreme Court Struggles with the Intersection of FERPA and State Open Records Laws

While investigating sexual misconduct at the University of Montana’s campus, bestselling author Jon Krakauer filed a request with the office of the Commissioner of Higher Education of the State of Montana to inspect specific...more

PTAC Releases Guidance Video Concerning Use of Email and Student Privacy

The Privacy Technical Assistance Center (“PTAC”), a resource established by the U.S. Department of Education, recently released a guidance video concerning the use of email in schools and student data privacy. In this short...more

Family Policy Compliance Office Issues FERPA Privacy Guidelines

Institutions of higher education frequently offer students access to on-campus medical services resulting in institutionally maintained student medical records. These services have grown over the last several years and, in...more

Privacy Tip #54 – Keep Student Data Safe

In the past few years, we have seen the explosion of “big data,” “data analytics,” “data aggregation,” “predictive modeling,” and “data breaches.” None of these terms existed when I graduated from law school. We have...more

Privacy Rules Surrounding Student Mental Health

September can bring about lots of changes, especially for college students. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) released a guide for departing college students and their families on mental illness, including...more

Department of Education Issues New Guidance on Disclosure of Student Medical Records

The Family Policy Compliance Office at the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) recently released "significant guidance" on the application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to the release of...more

First Day of School for the NYS Education Department’s New Chief Privacy Officer

As New York public schools increase the use of technology in day-to-day operations and in the classroom, they increasingly face data management and data security threats similar to those faced by businesses and non-profit...more

Florida Court Holds Budget Request Forms and Activity and Service Fee Records Not “Educational Records”

On August 11, 2016, a Florida state court judge held that the University Central Florida Board of Trustees (“UCF”) must produce Budget Request forms and Activity and Service Fee Database records to Knight News, Inc. (“KNI”)...more

Heal Thyself: Insider Threats to Heed, Especially for Industries with Large Amounts of Personal Information

A recent study by the Ponemon Institute found that insider threats due to malicious or negligent employees are the leading cause of private-sector cybersecurity incidents. Of the over 600 information security professionals...more

DOE Issues Updated Guidance on Homeless Students

The Department of Education recently issued three pieces of guidance, including detailed non-regulatory guidance, a student fact sheet, and a “Dear Colleague” letter, all of which address meeting the needs of homeless...more

Judge seals transcript of Title IX hearing

A federal judge in North Carolina sealed a transcript of a University of North Carolina (UNC) hearing to determine whether the plaintiff was responsible for committing sexual acts without consent. In the case in question, the...more

See You In Court! - July/August 2016

Out of the blue, Nancy Newshound, longtime reporter for the Nutmeg Bugle called Mr. Superintendent. “I understand that a student hacked the district’s system and changed a bunch of grades,” she stated. “What can you tell me...more

Education Legislation Summary 2016

2016 SESSION - CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY - In its 2016 regular and special sessions, the General Assembly made a number of changes in the statutes that affect public education in Connecticut. This summary...more

DOJ and DOE issue guidance on privacy rights of transgender students

On May 13, 2016, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” (DCL) describing reasonable steps to protect transgender students under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of...more

Governor Signs Student Data Privacy Law

On June 9, 2016, Governor Malloy signed into law Public Act 16-189, “An Act Concerning Student Data Privacy” (the “Act”), which ushers in sweeping changes to the protection and use of student data. As schools increasingly...more

Connecticut governor signs student privacy act into law

On June 9, 2016, Governor Dannel Malloy, who continues to show his commitment to data privacy, signed An Act Concerning Student Data Privacy into law, effective October 1, 2016. The law requires any local or regional...more

Transgender Student Issues – The FEDs Speak, But Is It Really News In Connecticut?

On May 13, 2016, with much fanfare, the United States Department of Justice and the United States Department of Education jointly issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” [“DCL”] in order to provide guidance for school districts with...more

Federal Government Issues Guidance to Schools on Title IX and Transgender Students

In a move that made headlines across the country, two federal government agencies issued a significant guidance document last week interpreting Title IX's requirements for protecting transgender students' rights....more

Federal Government Provides Schools New Guidance Regarding Transgender Students

Two divisions of the federal government have weighed in on the recent legal controversies surrounding accommodations for transgender students. The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the U.S....more

Department of Justice and Office of Civil Rights Issue Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students

On Friday, May 13, 2016, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released joint guidance entitled Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students (“Guidance”). This guidance is provided pursuant to the Departments’...more

Government Issues New Guidance on Transgender Students

The U.S. Departments of Justice and Education issued a joint Dear Colleague Letter on May 13, 2016, clarifying that Title IX prohibits discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status. The guidance states...more

U.S. Departments of Justice and Education Issue ‘Significant Guidance’ on Transgender Rights under Title IX

The U.S. Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Education (DOE) have issued a joint “Dear Colleague Letter” (DCL) containing “significant guidance” on how these departments will apply sex discrimination protections under Title IX...more

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