FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA)
In the U.S., families have the legal right to access to all educational records pertaining to their child. Parents have the right to inspect their child’s records, and if they need copies of the files in order to be able to inspect them fully, then the school has the responsibility to make those copies for a reasonable copying fee (or for no fee at all if the parents cannot afford the fee). Regardless of whether the parents actually need the copies made, schools will usually be helpful in making copies for the parents if the parents simply make a written request to the appropriate school administrators. Schools are legally bound to keep all records for at least five years, and furthermore, the school is responsible to explain the significance of any records the parents are having difficulty understanding on their own.
- Some of the kinds of records available to parents under FERPA include the following:
- Transcripts and recordings of IEP Meetings
- Due process decisions
- Psychological testing evaluations
- Grades and teacher evaluations
- Testing materials