Parents of a student with a disability must be afforded an opportunity to examine all records relating to their child 34 CFR 300.501(a) and USC 1415(b)(1). An educational agency or institution must maintain a record of each request for access to and each disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records of each student 34 CFR 300.614 and 34 CFR 99.32(a)(1) In addition, all records must be kept confidential as per the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and 34 CFR 99.3. A parent or eligible student may request the educational agency or institution to amend the student's education record if the parent or eligible student believes the education records relating to the student contain information that is: inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's rights of privacy 34 CFR 99.20(a) and 34 CFR 300.618(a).
What We Do
The parent has the right to review his or her child's entire education record. The school may presume that the parent has authority to inspect and review records relating to his or her child unless advised that he or she does not have the authority under applicable state law governing such matters as guardianship, separation, and divorce.
- The school must keep a log of everyone (except for the parent and authorized school officials) who reviews the student's special education records.
- the log must include the name of the person;
- the date access was given; and
- the purpose for which the person is authorized to use the records.
- A school official must assume responsibility for ensuring the confidentiality of any personally identifiable information.
- All persons collecting or using personally identifiable information must receive training or instruction regarding the state's policies and procedures regarding confidentiality under the IDEA and the FERPA.
- Each school must maintain, for public inspection, a current listing of the names and positions of those employees within the school who may have access to personally identifiable information.
- Clarification, Copies, and Fees
- If the parent requests, the school must explain and interpret the records, within reason.
- If the parent requests, the school must provide a list of the types and locations of all of the student's records.
- The school must make the parent copies if that is the only way the parent would be able to inspect and review the records.
- The school may not charge a fee to search for or to retrieve any education record about the student. However, it may charge a fee for copying, if the fee does not keep the parent from being able to inspect and review the records.
FERPA permits certain individuals, including school officials, to see the student's records without the parent's consent. Otherwise, the parent's consent must be obtained before personally identifiable information is disclosed to other individuals. Personally identifiable information includes:
- the student's name
- the name of the parent
- the name of another family member
- the parent's address
- a personal identifier (like social security number)
- or a list of characteristics that would make it possible to identify the student with reasonable certainty.
Before personally identifiable information is released to officials of participating agencies providing or paying for transition services, parent's consent, or the consent of an eligible child who has reached the age of majority under state law, must be obtained.
If the student attends a private school, the parent's consent must be obtained before any personally identifiable information about the student is released between officials in the school district where the private school is located and officials in the school district where the parent resides. No parental consent is required to request records if the private school and student are located within OCISD boundaries.
If the parent believes that his or her child's education records are inaccurate, misleading, or violate his or her child's rights, the parent may ask the school to amend the information.
- Within a reasonable time the school must decide whether to amend the information.
- If the school refuses to amend the information as requested, it must inform the parent of the refusal and of his or her right to a hearing to challenge the information in the records.
- This type of hearing is a local hearing under FERPA and is not an IDEA due process hearing held before an impartial hearing officer.
- If, as a result of the hearing, the school decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, it must change the information and inform the parent in writing.
- If, as a result of the hearing, the school decides that the information is not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, the parent must be informed of his or her right to place a statement commenting on the information in the student's records for as long as the record or contested portion is maintained by the school.
- If the parent revokes consent in writing for the student's receipt of special education and related services after the school initially provided services to the student, the school is not required to amend the student's education records to remove any references to the student's previous receipt of special education services.
- However, the parent still has the right to ask the school to amend the student's records if the parent believes the records are inaccurate, misleading, or violate the student's rights.
Texas Public Information Act
The Texas Public Information Act also gives the parent the right to inspect and obtain copies of the student's education records. The school may charge a reasonable fee for copies. The Attorney General enforces the Texas Public Information Act. The toll free number the parent can call if he or she has questions is 1-877-673-6839.