The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."
- Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student's education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
- Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
- Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
- School officials with legitimate educational interest;
- Other schools to which a student is transferring;
- Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
- Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
- Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
- Accrediting organizations;
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
- Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
- State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.
POWER OF ATTORNEY
A legal instrument that gives one adult legal authority to act for you. The person you give authority to is called your “Agent.” A power of attorney is “durable” if it specifically states it will remain in force even if you become incapacitated later. It can cover simple tasks like writing or endorsing checks or involve more complex matters like selling real estate. This option may be made without professional assistance of an attorney. However, formal requirements such as two witnesses and notarized signatures, are required by Florida Statute § 709.2105. If you are unable to physically sign the document, the notary may sign for you pursuant to Florida Statute § 117.05(14). You may terminate the Power of Attorney by providing written notice to the Agent and anyone who reasonably relied on it. You may also terminate it by stating so explicitly in a new Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney may also be time limited and set to expire on a specific date in the future or when a specific task is completed by the Agent. For banks and other financial institutions, there are additional rules to provide notice of your choice to end the Power of Attorney. A court may terminate your Power of Attorney if the court determines you to be totally or partially incapacitated.