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Montana Privacy of School Records Laws

The confidentiality of a student's school records is protected mainly by federal law, but some state laws offer additional protections. Schools tend to accumulate a large volume of potentially sensitive data on students throughout the years, such as notes from counselors and teachers, personal medical information, academic performance, and disciplinary records. Much of this data, if it fell into the wrong hands, could be used for identity theft, fraud, or other criminal acts. Since virtually all public schools receive federal funding, federal law governs the vast majority of districts.

Montana Laws Concerning the Privacy of School Records

According to Montana statute, all records for which individual privacy concerns outweigh any public benefit of closure may not be made public. This would include a student's personal school records in most cases. Federal law also protects the privacy of student information.

Additional details about state and federal privacy laws affecting Montana are listed in the following table. See FindLaw's School Privacy section to learn more.

Code Section 7-1-4144
Who Has Access to School Records? Personal records, medical records, and other records which relate to matters in which the right to individual privacy exceeds the merits of public disclosure shall not be available to the public unless the person they concern requests they be made public.
Penalty for Violation of School Record Privacy Laws -
Federal Agency to Contact with Complaints

To file a complaint about school record privacy violations, contact the U.S. Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) at 1-8000-872-5327 or:

Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20202-5920

Note: State laws may change at any time through the decisions of higher courts, the enactment of newly signed legislation, and other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you also may want to contact a Montana education law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Federal Protection of School Records

FERPA prohibits schools from disclosing personally identifiable educational records without the parent's written permission, including files, documents, health records, or other materials pertaining to a student and maintained by the school. PPRA places certain restrictions on the participation by students in surveys, evaluations, or other potential disclosure of sensitive information.

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Privacy of Montana School Records: Related Resources

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