On December 8, 2008, the U.S. Department of Education issued final amendments to its rules implementing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Among other requirements, FERPA generally requires school districts and institutions that receive department funding to refrain from disclosing education records without consent. The amended regulations took effect on January 8, 2009.

The amendments address a variety of student privacy matters. For example, they set forth a standard regarding the circumstances under which a district or institution may disclose education records without consent in a health or safety emergency and provide for deference to administrators in such circumstances. Other changes pertain to issues such as disclosure of student identification and user ID numbers, release of education records to contractors and other outside parties, and the department’s investigative and enforcement procedures.

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U.S. Department of Education Proposes Changes to FERPA Rules  

(June 4, 2008)