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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of May 28, 2020

Title 34Subtitle APart 99 → Subpart A


Title 34: Education
PART 99—FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY


Subpart A—General


Contents
§99.1   To which educational agencies or institutions do these regulations apply?
§99.2   What is the purpose of these regulations?
§99.3   What definitions apply to these regulations?
§99.4   What are the rights of parents?
§99.5   What are the rights of students?
§99.6   [Reserved]
§99.7   What must an educational agency or institution include in its annual notification?
§99.8   What provisions apply to records of a law enforcement unit?

§99.1   To which educational agencies or institutions do these regulations apply?

(a) Except as otherwise noted in §99.10, this part applies to an educational agency or institution to which funds have been made available under any program administered by the Secretary, if—

(1) The educational institution provides educational services or instruction, or both, to students; or

(2) The educational agency is authorized to direct and control public elementary or secondary, or postsecondary educational institutions.

(b) This part does not apply to an educational agency or institution solely because students attending that agency or institution receive non-monetary benefits under a program referenced in paragraph (a) of this section, if no funds under that program are made available to the agency or institution.

(c) The Secretary considers funds to be made available to an educational agency or institution of funds under one or more of the programs referenced in paragraph (a) of this section—

(1) Are provided to the agency or institution by grant, cooperative agreement, contract, subgrant, or subcontract; or

(2) Are provided to students attending the agency or institution and the funds may be paid to the agency or institution by those students for educational purposes, such as under the Pell Grant Program and the Guaranteed Student Loan Program (titles IV-A-1 and IV-B, respectively, of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended).

(d) If an educational agency or institution receives funds under one or more of the programs covered by this section, the regulations in this part apply to the recipient as a whole, including each of its components (such as a department within a university).

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g)

[53 FR 11943, Apr. 11, 1988, as amended at 61 FR 59295, Nov. 21, 1996; 65 FR 41852, July 6, 2000]

§99.2   What is the purpose of these regulations?

The purpose of this part is to set out requirements for the protection of privacy of parents and students under section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act, as amended.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g)

Note to §99.2: 34 CFR 300.610 through 300.626 contain requirements regarding the confidentiality of information relating to children with disabilities who receive evaluations, services or other benefits under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 34 CFR 303.402 and 303.460 identify the confidentiality of information requirements regarding children and infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families who receive evaluations, services, or other benefits under Part C of IDEA. 34 CFR 300.610 through 300.627 contain the confidentiality of information requirements that apply to personally identifiable data, information, and records collected or maintained pursuant to Part B of the IDEA.

[53 FR 11943, Apr. 11, 1988, as amended at 61 FR 59295, Nov. 21, 1996; 73 FR 74851, Dec. 9, 2008]

§99.3   What definitions apply to these regulations?

The following definitions apply to this part:

Act means the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, enacted as section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g)

Attendance includes, but is not limited to—

(a) Attendance in person or by paper correspondence, videoconference, satellite, Internet, or other electronic information and telecommunications technologies for students who are not physically present in the classroom; and

(b) The period during which a person is working under a work-study program.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g)

Authorized representative means any entity or individual designated by a State or local educational authority or an agency headed by an official listed in §99.31(a)(3) to conduct—with respect to Federal- or State-supported education programs—any audit or evaluation, or any compliance or enforcement activity in connection with Federal legal requirements that relate to these programs.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(b)(1)(C), (b)(3), and (b)(5))

Biometric record, as used in the definition of personally identifiable information, means a record of one or more measurable biological or behavioral characteristics that can be used for automated recognition of an individual. Examples include fingerprints; retina and iris patterns; voiceprints; DNA sequence; facial characteristics; and handwriting.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g)

Dates of attendance. (a) The term means the period of time during which a student attends or attended an educational agency or institution. Examples of dates of attendance include an academic year, a spring semester, or a first quarter.

(b) The term does not include specific daily records of a student's attendance at an educational agency or institution.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(5)(A))

Directory information means information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.

(a) Directory information includes, but is not limited to, the student's name; address; telephone listing; electronic mail address; photograph; date and place of birth; major field of study; grade level; enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate or graduate, full-time or part-time); dates of attendance; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members of athletic teams; degrees, honors, and awards received; and the most recent educational agency or institution attended.

(b) Directory information does not include a student's—

(1) Social security number; or

(2) Student identification (ID) number, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this definition.

(c) In accordance with paragraphs (a) and (b) of this definition, directory information includes—

(1) A student ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used by a student for purposes of accessing or communicating in electronic systems, but only if the identifier cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user's identity, such as a personal identification number (PIN), password or other factor known or possessed only by the authorized user; and

(2) A student ID number or other unique personal identifier that is displayed on a student ID badge, but only if the identifier cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user's identity, such as a PIN, password, or other factor known or possessed only by the authorized user.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(5)(A))

Disciplinary action or proceeding means the investigation, adjudication, or imposition of sanctions by an educational agency or institution with respect to an infraction or violation of the internal rules of conduct applicable to students of the agency or institution.

Disclosure means to permit access to or the release, transfer, or other communication of personally identifiable information contained in education records by any means, including oral, written, or electronic means, to any party except the party identified as the party that provided or created the record.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(b)(1) and (b)(2))

Early childhood education program means—

(a) A Head Start program or an Early Head Start program carried out under the Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9831 et seq.), including a migrant or seasonal Head Start program, an Indian Head Start program, or a Head Start program or an Early Head Start program that also receives State funding;

(b) A State licensed or regulated child care program; or

(c) A program that—

(1) Serves children from birth through age six that addresses the children's cognitive (including language, early literacy, and early mathematics), social, emotional, and physical development; and

(2) Is—

(i) A State prekindergarten program;

(ii) A program authorized under section 619 or part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; or

(iii) A program operated by a local educational agency.

Educational agency or institution means any public or private agency or institution to which this part applies under §99.1(a).

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(3))

Education program means any program that is principally engaged in the provision of education, including, but not limited to, early childhood education, elementary and secondary education, postsecondary education, special education, job training, career and technical education, and adult education, and any program that is administered by an educational agency or institution.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(b)(3), (b)(5))

Education records. (a) The term means those records that are:

(1) Directly related to a student; and

(2) Maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution.

(b) The term does not include:

(1) Records that are kept in the sole possession of the maker, are used only as a personal memory aid, and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record.

(2) Records of the law enforcement unit of an educational agency or institution, subject to the provisions of §99.8.

(3)(i) Records relating to an individual who is employed by an educational agency or institution, that:

(A) Are made and maintained in the normal course of business;

(B) Relate exclusively to the individual in that individual's capacity as an employee; and

(C) Are not available for use for any other purpose.

(ii) Records relating to an individual in attendance at the agency or institution who is employed as a result of his or her status as a student are education records and not excepted under paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this definition.

(4) Records on a student who is 18 years of age or older, or is attending an institution of postsecondary education, that are:

(i) Made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in his or her professional capacity or assisting in a paraprofessional capacity;

(ii) Made, maintained, or used only in connection with treatment of the student; and

(iii) Disclosed only to individuals providing the treatment. For the purpose of this definition, “treatment” does not include remedial educational activities or activities that are part of the program of instruction at the agency or institution; and

(5) Records created or received by an educational agency or institution after an individual is no longer a student in attendance and that are not directly related to the individual's attendance as a student.

(6) Grades on peer-graded papers before they are collected and recorded by a teacher.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(4))

Eligible student means a student who has reached 18 years of age or is attending an institution of postsecondary education.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(d))

Institution of postsecondary education means an institution that provides education to students beyond the secondary school level; “secondary school level” means the educational level (not beyond grade 12) at which secondary education is provided as determined under State law.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(d))

Parent means a parent of a student and includes a natural parent, a guardian, or an individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or a guardian.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g)

Party means an individual, agency, institution, or organization.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(b)(4)(A))

Personally Identifiable Information

The term includes, but is not limited to—

(a) The student's name;

(b) The name of the student's parent or other family members;

(c) The address of the student or student's family;

(d) A personal identifier, such as the student's social security number, student number, or biometric record;

(e) Other indirect identifiers, such as the student's date of birth, place of birth, and mother's maiden name;

(f) Other information that, alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific student that would allow a reasonable person in the school community, who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to identify the student with reasonable certainty; or

(g) Information requested by a person who the educational agency or institution reasonably believes knows the identity of the student to whom the education record relates.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g)

Record means any information recorded in any way, including, but not limited to, handwriting, print, computer media, video or audio tape, film, microfilm, and microfiche.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g)

Secretary means the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education or an official or employee of the Department of Education acting for the Secretary under a delegation of authority.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g)

Student, except as otherwise specifically provided in this part, means any individual who is or has been in attendance at an educational agency or institution and regarding whom the agency or institution maintains education records.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(6))

[53 FR 11943, Apr. 11, 1988, as amended at 60 FR 3468, Jan. 17, 1995; 61 FR 59295, Nov. 21, 1996; 65 FR 41852, July 6, 2000; 73 FR 74851, Dec. 9, 2008; 76 FR 75641, Dec. 2, 2011]

§99.4   What are the rights of parents?

An educational agency or institution shall give full rights under the Act to either parent, unless the agency or institution has been provided with evidence that there is a court order, State statute, or legally binding document relating to such matters as divorce, separation, or custody that specifically revokes these rights.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g)

§99.5   What are the rights of students?

(a)(1) When a student becomes an eligible student, the rights accorded to, and consent required of, parents under this part transfer from the parents to the student.

(2) Nothing in this section prevents an educational agency or institution from disclosing education records, or personally identifiable information from education records, to a parent without the prior written consent of an eligible student if the disclosure meets the conditions in §99.31(a)(8), §99.31(a)(10), §99.31(a)(15), or any other provision in §99.31(a).

(b) The Act and this part do not prevent educational agencies or institutions from giving students rights in addition to those given to parents.

(c) An individual who is or has been a student at an educational institution and who applies for admission at another component of that institution does not have rights under this part with respect to records maintained by that other component, including records maintained in connection with the student's application for admission, unless the student is accepted and attends that other component of the institution.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(d))

[53 FR 11943, Apr. 11, 1988, as amended at 58 FR 3188, Jan. 7, 1993; 65 FR 41853, July 6, 2000; 73 FR 74852, Dec. 9, 2008]

§99.6   [Reserved]

§99.7   What must an educational agency or institution include in its annual notification?

(a)(1) Each educational agency or institution shall annually notify parents of students currently in attendance, or eligible students currently in attendance, of their rights under the Act and this part.

(2) The notice must inform parents or eligible students that they have the right to—

(i) Inspect and review the student's education records;

(ii) Seek amendment of the student's education records that the parent or eligible student believes to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights;

(iii) Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that the Act and §99.31 authorize disclosure without consent; and

(iv) File with the Department a complaint under §§99.63 and 99.64 concerning alleged failures by the educational agency or institution to comply with the requirements of the Act and this part.

(3) The notice must include all of the following:

(i) The procedure for exercising the right to inspect and review education records.

(ii) The procedure for requesting amendment of records under §99.20.

(iii) If the educational agency or institution has a policy of disclosing education records under §99.31(a)(1), a specification of criteria for determining who constitutes a school official and what constitutes a legitimate educational interest.

(b) An educational agency or institution may provide this notice by any means that are reasonably likely to inform the parents or eligible students of their rights.

(1) An educational agency or institution shall effectively notify parents or eligible students who are disabled.

(2) An agency or institution of elementary or secondary education shall effectively notify parents who have a primary or home language other than English.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1880-0508)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g (e) and (f))

[61 FR 59295, Nov. 21, 1996]

§99.8   What provisions apply to records of a law enforcement unit?

(a)(1) Law enforcement unit means any individual, office, department, division, or other component of an educational agency or institution, such as a unit of commissioned police officers or non-commissioned security guards, that is officially authorized or designated by that agency or institution to—

(i) Enforce any local, State, or Federal law, or refer to appropriate authorities a matter for enforcement of any local, State, or Federal law against any individual or organization other than the agency or institution itself; or

(ii) Maintain the physical security and safety of the agency or institution.

(2) A component of an educational agency or institution does not lose its status as a law enforcement unit if it also performs other, non-law enforcement functions for the agency or institution, including investigation of incidents or conduct that constitutes or leads to a disciplinary action or proceedings against the student.

(b)(1) Records of a law enforcement unit means those records, files, documents, and other materials that are—

(i) Created by a law enforcement unit;

(ii) Created for a law enforcement purpose; and

(iii) Maintained by the law enforcement unit.

(2) Records of a law enforcement unit does not mean—

(i) Records created by a law enforcement unit for a law enforcement purpose that are maintained by a component of the educational agency or institution other than the law enforcement unit; or

(ii) Records created and maintained by a law enforcement unit exclusively for a non-law enforcement purpose, such as a disciplinary action or proceeding conducted by the educational agency or institution.

(c)(1) Nothing in the Act prohibits an educational agency or institution from contacting its law enforcement unit, orally or in writing, for the purpose of asking that unit to investigate a possible violation of, or to enforce, any local, State, or Federal law.

(2) Education records, and personally identifiable information contained in education records, do not lose their status as education records and remain subject to the Act, including the disclosure provisions of §99.30, while in the possession of the law enforcement unit.

(d) The Act neither requires nor prohibits the disclosure by an educational agency or institution of its law enforcement unit records.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(4)(B)(ii))

[60 FR 3469, Jan. 17, 1995]

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