• Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act




    In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, President Bush asked Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez to conduct a listening tour across the country with educators, first responders, parents and others to address recent concerns related to emergency preparedness and school safety. Several recurring themes were heard across the country, including the need for additional guidance on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the federal law that protects the privacy of students' education records.


    The FERPA brochures for school officials include contact information for obtaining additional guidance and assistance.


    The law empowers school officials to act quickly and decisively when problems arise. These guides expand key emergency management resources available from the U.S. Department of Education to help public schools and institutions of higher education plan for, respond to, and recover from a serious incident. The guides, accompanied by a letter and handout on emergency management resources, were sent to schools, school boards, associations and others nationwide on October 30, 2007. The letter and handout on emergency management resources are available online at http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/secletter/071030.html.


    The new FERPA guidance and brochures are available online at http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/safeschools/.


    The following brochure may be ordered from the U.S. Department of Education's Publications Center (ED Pubs) by calling (toll free) 1-877-433-7827 or e-mailing edpubs@inet.ed.gov. 


    Parents' Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: Rights Regarding Your Children's Education Records (ED003907H)


Last Modified on December 4, 2007