Clarification of Transfer of Educational Records
(August 2002)

In response to a request from Commissioner Richard Mills, the Council on Children and Families (CCF) has convened a multi-agency workgroup to address issues related to the transfer of educational records. The workgroup will address how this issue impacts on consistent and timely implementation of educational programs for youth admitted to and released from Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) juvenile correctional facilities and Office of Mental Health (OMH) residential facilities. One issue discussed has been whether parental consent was required for transfer of records from a school a student previously attended.

The State Education Department clarified this issue as follows:

According to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA 34 C.F.R. Part 99, as amended April 11, 1998), prior consent to disclose information is not required under certain situations. This law states, in part (99.31(a)(2)), that "officials of other schools in school systems in which the student may intend to enroll" may receive the student's educational record without consent for such release. The educational agency or institution disclosing the records is subject to the requirements of 99.34 and must make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent, and, upon parental request, provide a copy of the records disclosed.

The workgroup developed a sample request form for use when disclosing student information from educational records to officials of a State Department or Agency that operate or supervise educational programs, available on the Department's web site at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/qa/request.htm

It is important that School Superintendents communicate this information to school personnel involved in the transfer of records to ensure the timely disclosure of educational records to such parties. For additional questions regarding transfer of records, please contact your Special Education Quality Assurance Regional Associate (http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/quality/qaoffices.htm).