ED seeks FERPA input on disclosures to state auditors
The Department of Education (ED) seeks comments concerning the disclosure of education records without consent to state auditors under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In draft regulations proposed in March of 2008, ED had suggested defining “state auditors” broadly and “audit” narrowly, but the department ultimately finalized neither change in the final regulations it published on Dec. 9, 2008, because commenters objected to the narrow definition of audit. At that time ED indicated it would solicit additional input on the question. ED had proposed defining audit narrowly because “state auditors” is defined broadly. Given the range of offices, titles, and functions for state auditors, ED seeks public comments to help develop a definition consistent with FERPA’s legislative history, which allows disclosure of education records without consent to state and local educational officials in connection with the audit or evaluation of federal or state supported education programs. The final regulations and a comprehensive summary from ED also are at the second link. NSBA’s Council of Schools Attorneys (COSA) will hold an audio conference next Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009, 1:00-2:15 Eastern Standard Time, to discuss the new regulations with Ellen Campbell, Deputy Director of ED’s Family Policy Compliance Office, the agency responsible for administering FERPA. Details and registration information are at the last link.
ED request for comments
NSBA School Law pages on final FERPA regulations
COSA audio conference on FERPA regulations