US Dept of Education -- query re FERPA

Susan A. filed this request with the U.S. Department of Education of the United States of America.
Tracking # 16-01306-F
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Susan A.

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

Phone: 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327)

To Whom It May Concern:

I found your address on the online FERPA page of the US Dept of Education:
http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html?src=rn

I also found a phone number but not a fax umber here:
http://www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/gen/index.html

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Seeking a public record on your FERPA policy, explaining if college grade transcripts from a state university created prior to the November 1974 effective date of FERPA are subject to FERPA or are in fact public records which can be disclosed to the public (since an August 1974 grade transcript, for example, is created in its entirety prior to the Nov 1974 effective date of FERPA).

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Susan Alyn

From: Jones, Kim

This is the Department's acknowledgment of your request for information pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552. Your request was forwarded to the primary responsible office(s) for action.
Any future correspondence or questions regarding your request, please contact the FOIA Public Liaison at 202-401-8365 or
EDFOIAManager@ed.gov

  • Department of Education FOIA Acknowledgment Letter - 16-01306-F

From: Swafford, Christie

Dear Mr. Richardson;

This letter is to inform you that the Department is currently still processing your request, however due to the volume of information requested and the competing demands of staff's time working to respond to your request, we will be unable to respond within 20 working days of having received the request.

If you have any questions, please contact the FOIA Requester Service Center at (202) 401-8365 or via e-mail at EDFOIAManager@ed.gov<mailto:EDFOIAManager@ed.gov>.
Best Regards!

Christie D. Swafford

From: Swafford, Christie

Dear Ms. Alyn;

This letter is to inform you that the Department is currently still processing your request, however due to the volume of information requested and the competing demands of staff's time working to respond to your request, we will be unable to respond within 20 working days of having received the request.

If you have any questions, please contact the FOIA Requester Service Center at (202) 401-8365 or via e-mail at EDFOIAManager@ed.gov<mailto:EDFOIAManager@ed.gov>.
Best Regards!

Christie D. Swafford

From: Miles, Regina

Ms. Alyn -

This is regarding your recent FOIA request 16-01306-F sent to the U.S Department of Education Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Office . I am reaching out to you because I am the FOIA contact for the Family Policy Compliance Office. Specifically, you are seeking a public record on your FERPA policy, explaining if college grade transcripts from a state university created prior to the November 1974 effective date of FERPA are subject to FERPA or are in fact public records which can be disclosed to the public (since an August 1974 grade transcript, for example, is created in its entirety prior to the Nov 1974 effective date of FERPA). At this time I am unable to locate any letters that we officially responded to the information you are seeking. However, below is a response to assist in the interpretation of FERPA.

This is in response to your FOIA request regarding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which this office administers. FERPA's email responses are intended to provide school officials, Parents, Students with brief, informal responses to routine questions about FERPA. You may find helpful information on our website: www.ed.gov/fpco<http://www.ed.gov/fpco>. This informal response is based on the information provided in, and obtained as a result of, your inquiry.

FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of students' education records. The term "education records" means those records that are: (1) directly related to a student; and (2) maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution. See § 99.3 "Education records." At the postsecondary level, FERPA affords students ("eligible students") the right to have access to their education records, the right to seek to have the records amended, and the right to have some control over the disclosure of information from the records. Under FERPA, an educational institution is prohibited from disclosing personally identifiable information (PII) from students' education records, without consent, unless the disclosure meets an exception to FERPA's general consent requirement. See 34 CFR § 99.30 and § 99.31. Here is a link to the FERPA regulations on our website: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/reg/ferpa/index.html.

As you can see from the definition of "education records," FERPA protects those records directly related to a "student" and maintained by a school, regardless of when the student attended the school. "Student" is defined in FERPA as "any individual who is or has been in attendance at an educational agency or institution and regarding whom the agency or institution maintains education records." See § 99.3 "Student." Accordingly, if the school has records on students who attended prior to 1974, those are protected by FERPA. You do not explain why you are seeking this information, but just in case you are concerned about records on deceased eligible students, please see the additional information that follows.

Consistent with common law principles, we interpret the FERPA rights of eligible students to lapse or expire upon the death of the student. Therefore, FERPA would not protect the education records of a deceased eligible student (a student 18 or older or in college at any age) and an educational institution could disclose such records at its discretion or consistent with State law. (At the elementary/secondary level, FERPA rights do not lapse or expire upon the death of a non-eligible student because FERPA provides specifically that the rights it affords rest with the parents of students until that student reaches 18 years of age or attends an institution of postsecondary education. Once the parents are deceased, the records are no longer protected by FERPA.)

I trust this is responsive to your inquiry.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Thank you,

Regina Miles
U.S. Department of Education
Family Policy Compliance Office
(202) 260-3887 Office Main
(202) 260-3968 Direct

"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
― Joseph Campbell<http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20105.Joseph_Campbell>

From: ED FOIA Manager

Good morning

This email is to confirm the process and close action for the above referenced case has been completed.

Respectfully,

//SIGNED//
Antione D. (Tony) Harris
FOIA Intake Analyst
United States Department of Education
Office of the Chief Privacy Officer
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Room 2E337
Washington, DC 20202

From: Susan A.

Hi,

Thanks so much for your help with this request! I really appreciate it.

Sincerely,
Susan A.

From: ED FOIA Manager

This case was granted in full and closed on June 8, 2016.

Kind regards,
ED FOIA Manager

U.S. Department of Education
FOIA Service Center
FSC Hotline: (202) 401-8365
FSC Fax: (202) 401-0920
EDFOIAManager@ed.gov

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