The Family Policy Compliance Office is excited to announce the launch  of the new Student Privacy Website! This new website replaces both the Privacy Technical Assistance Center’s and the Family Policy Compliance Office’s sites.  The Student Privacy Website can be found at:  https://studentprivacy.ed.gov. Be sure to update your bookmarks accordingly!

To which educational agencies or institutions does FERPA apply?

FERPA applies to educational agencies or institutions that receive funds from programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education.  By “educational agencies or institutions” we mean public schools, school districts (or “local educational agencies” (LEAs)), and postsecondary institutions, such as colleges and universities.  Private and parochial schools at the elementary and secondary level generally do not receive such funding and are, therefore, not subject to FERPA. See: FERPA 101 Webinar

Where can I get more information on the requirements of § 9528 of the ESEA?

The Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) in the Department of Education administers FERPA as well as § 9528 of the ESEA, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.  School officials with questions on this guidance, or FERPA, may contact the FPCO at FERPA@ED.Gov or write to the FPCO as follows:

Where can I get more information on the requirements of 10 U.S.C. § 503?

The Office of the Secretary of Defense may be contacted for copies of the statute, or questions relating to it.  Please contact the Accession Policy Directorate as follows:

Director, Accession Policy
4000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-4000
Telephone: (703) 695-5529

Are private schools subject to the military recruiter requirements?

Private secondary schools that receive funds under the ESEA are subject to 10 U.S.C. § 503.  However,  private schools that maintain a religious objection to service in the Armed Forces that is verifiable through the corporate or other organizational documents or materials of that school are not required to comply with this law.

How are these requirements under 10 U.S.C. § 503 enforced?

In addition to the potential for loss of funds under ESEA noted above for failure to comply with § 9528 of the ESEA, an LEA that denies a military recruiter access to the requested information on students after July 1, 2002, will be subject to specific interventions under
10 U.S.C. § 503.  

How does § 544 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 amend the former requirements under 10 U.S.C. § 503?

Section 544 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 revises Title 10, Section 503(c) in several important ways.  First, the recruiting provisions now apply only to LEAs (including private secondary schools) that receive funds under the ESEA.  Second, these provisions now require access by military recruiters to students, under certain conditions, and to secondary school students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings.  Third, as discussed earlier, they require LEAs to notify parents of their right to opt out of the disclosure of their children’s names, addresses, a

How are the requirements under § 9528 of the ESEA enforced?

Schools that do not comply with  § 9528 of the ESEA could jeopardize their receipt of ESEA funds.

If the school does not list one or more of the three data elements (e.g., telephone number) among its directory information, may it release that information to military recruiters?

If a school does not designate one or more of the three items as “directory information” under FERPA, it still must provide all three items to military recruiters upon request.  Also, in that case, the school would have to send a separate notice to parents about the missing “directory information” item(s), noting an opportunity to opt out of disclosure of the information to military recruiters.  An easier method, of course, would be for the school to designate all three items – name, address, and telephone listing – as “directory information.”

If a parent opts out of the public, non-consensual disclosure of directory information (or any subset of such information), must the three data elements be released to military recruiters upon their request?

If a parent opts out of providing directory information to third parties, the opt-out relating to name, address, or telephone number applies to requests from military recruiters as well.  For example, if the opt-out states that telephone numbers will not be disclosed to the public, schools may not disclose telephone numbers to military recruiters.

If an LEA has not provided notice relating to directory information, may it release a students name, address, and telephone number when requested by a military recruiter?

As noted above, an LEA may provide a single notice regarding both directory information and information disclosed to military recruiters.  If an LEA does not disclose “directory information” under FERPA, then it must still provide military recruiters access to secondary students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings.  In addition, the LEA must notify parents that they may opt out of this disclosure.  In other words, an LEA that does not disclose “directory information” must nonetheless provide a notice that it discloses information to military recruiters.  The notice must be reasonably

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