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Both federal and state laws include special provisions to protect the confidentiality of records of students in Tennessee schools. Tennessee’s public records statutes specifically provide for the confidentiality of such records.[1]  But more significant than our state statutes is a complex set of  federal law that provides extensive regulations controlling the inspection, amendment, and disclosure of educational records. The primary federal statute addressing student records is the “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act” (FERPA).[2]  This law outlines who can and cannot access student education records and establishes rights for both parents and students in regard to these records. The following outline of the requirements of FERPA is adapted from a January 2004 memo to superintendents of local school systems from the Family Policy Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education. Before relying on this information, local education officials should check with the attorney for their school board or county to make certain these regulations have not been amended. A copy of the full memo and additional material regarding FERPA and other federal laws and regulations can be found at the U.S. Department of Education Web site. The Tennessee Department of Education is also a good source for additional information.

         [1]  T.C.A. § 10-7-504.

            [2]  20 U.S.C.A. § 1232g with related regulations found in 34 C.F.R. Part 99.