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Kentucky Privacy of School Records Laws

In Kentucky, the privacy of school records is taken very seriously. Both state and federal laws protect the information that schools collect about their students. These laws help ensure the confidentiality of student information. This article explores how schools aim to secure education records and uphold student rights. By understanding these laws, students and parents can better understand their rights.

Privacy of School Records Laws Generally

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law. This law sets the standard for the protection of student education records across the United States. FERPA ensures that parents and students have access to their education records and restricts who else can see these records. Schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student to release any information from a student's education record.

But FERPA allows schools to disclose directory information. This is student information like a student's name or address. It can also include their telephone number, date, and place of birth. It also includes a student's honors, awards, and dates of attendance. This is the case unless parents or legal guardians have advised the school not to disclose this information.

Kentucky Privacy of School Records Laws

Under Kentucky law, specifically the Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS), additional protections are provided for student records. The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) requires all school districts to ensure the confidentiality of personally identifiable information (PII). State law also mandates that information such as Social Security numbers, student performance data, and family financial information must be kept confidential. This information should only be disclosed for legitimate educational interests or by a judicial order.

Kentucky schools must also comply with local laws and policies set by their respective Boards of Education. This often includes specific procedures for handling requests for student records from other schools, law enforcement, and even in cases of safety emergencies. For instance, if a student transfers to another school, Kentucky schools are allowed to send the student's records to the new school without parental consent. This is considered a legitimate educational interest.

Code Section Kentucky Revised Statutes § 164.283
Who Has Access to School Records? A copy of a student's academic record may be provided to parents of any student under age 21. All student academic records are confidential, with the exceptions cited in the law.
Agency to Contact for Complaints You may want to file a complaint about school record privacy violations. If so, contact the U.S. Department of Education Student Privacy Policy Office.
Penalty for Violation of School Record Privacy Laws Violations can result in severe penalties at the federal level. Schools found in violation of FERPA may face the loss of federal funding. This includes both grants and loans. Additionally, individuals responsible for unauthorized disclosure of student records can be held responsible. This means they are subject to fines or other disciplinary actions. The U.S. Department of Education imposes these actions.

Note: State laws are always subject to change and may do so at any time. They change most often through the enactment of newly signed legislation and higher court decisions. You also may want to contact a Kentucky education attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Getting Legal Help

In cases where legal help is needed to address violations of privacy laws or disputes regarding access to school records, individuals have the right to seek help. Lawyers can help clarify student privacy and parental rights. Attorneys with experience in education law can provide guidance and representation to protect students' rights. They can also help ensure compliance with applicable federal and state regulations and school district policies. Attorneys can review subpoenas and other court orders.

Consult a qualified Kentucky education attorney about your potential case today.

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