Fordham Law

Center on Law and Information Policy Highly Critical of Federal Plan to Relax Restrictions on Education Records

May 23, 2011

Fordham Law’s Center on Law and Information Policy (CLIP) filed public comments today on the Department of Education’s proposal to amend the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) regulations. The Department’s rule-making proceeding seeks to relax restrictions on the sharing of educational records in state-held databases of student information. CLIP’s comments were highly critical of the Department’s approach, showing that many of the proposals contradicted FERPA and explicit statutory protections for student privacy.  

CLIP’s Academic Director, Professor Joel R. Reidenberg, stated that “the promiscuous sharing of children’s educational records that would be permitted by these proposals undermines privacy and is outside the Department’s authority.”  
CLIP’s comments drew on the results of the study “Children’s Educational Records and Privacy:  A Study of Elementary and Secondary School State Reporting Systems” that CLIP released in October 2009 and that found privacy protections for existing state databases of children’s educational records was lacking.

Jamela Debelak, CLIP’s Executive Director, said, “The proposed regulations are problematic because the Department is using a rule-making proceeding to circumvent the need for Congressional action.”

CLIP was founded in 2005 to make significant contributions to the development of law and policy for the information economy and to teach the next generation of leaders. CLIP brings together scholars, the bar, the business community, technology experts, the policy community, students, and the public to address and assess policies and solutions for cutting-edge issues that affect the evolution of the information economy. Visit the CLIP website for more information.