Supplemental Educational Services & FERPA
The Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement has sent a letter to a school district, below, indicating that the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) does not prohibit Supplemental Educational Services (SES) providers from using contact information for parents of students they previously served to contact those parents again regarding their services. The letter was sent in response to an e-mail notice the district had sent to SES providers that then was forwarded to the office. The district’s notice had warned SES providers that this kind of communication "may be in violation of [FERPA] which states that the disclosed information cannot be used for any other purpose than the purpose disclosed and [contacting parents] are 'other purposes.'" While the federal office indicated that it appreciated the district’s "endeavor to ensure compliance with FERPA," the real "intent of that regulatory provision is to ensure that personally identifiable information from student's education records is not redisclosed to other parties for other purposes." Because the regulation in question "clearly states that the recipient of education records may not redisclose the information to any other party ‘without the prior consent of the parent or eligible student,’" a "parent or eligible student does not have to consent for information to be provided to them." (emphasis added).