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Special Education Listserv

Subject: Confidentiality/FERPA Guidance

Source: Stephen Barr, Assistant Commissioner

Intended Audience: School Administrators, Special Education Contacts

Date: January 28, 2013


President Barack Obama signed the Uninterrupted Scholars Act which amends a portion of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to permit schools to release educational records to child welfare workers responsible for the care and protection of the student, without parental consent.  This is a new exception to the general requirement that parental consent is needed before releasing educational records to third parties.

The new law also provides an exception to the requirement that districts inform parents before they comply with a judicial order or subpoena requesting educational records.  There is no need to notify parents if the judicial order or subpoena is issued in the context of a court proceeding involving the parent concerning issues of abuse and neglect or dependency.

Should you or your staff have questions about requirements of this law, you may contact the U.S. Department's Family Policy Compliance Office at 202-260-3887 or