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New Student Records Requirements: Part II

Brad Banasik

By Brad Banasik, MASB Legal Counsel/Director of Labor Relations & Policy

DashBoard, June 14, 2017

MCL 380.1136 was recently added to the Revised School Code by Public Act 367 of 2016 to address the issue of protecting the privacy of student records. This new law includes multiple requirements that went into effect on March 22. This article will focus on the law’s provisions that include student recordkeeping requirements and disclosure restrictions that are in addition to what is included in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.1

MCL 380.1136 includes the prohibition that school districts shall not sell or otherwise provide to a for-profit business any personally identifiable information that is part of a student’s education records. This prohibition, however, does not apply to providing necessary information: (1) for standardized testing that measures a student’s academic progress and achievement or (2) to a person that is providing educational or educational support services to a student pursuant to a contract with the school district.

Additionally, school districts must disclose any personally identifiable information concerning the student that is collected or created by the school district upon written request by a student’s parent or eligible student.2 Note that this requirement doesn’t refer to “education records,” but instead uses the phrase “personally identifiable information” that likely covers documents, files or emails that are not covered by the definition of “education records” found in FERPA.3

If a school district provides any “personally identifiable information” to any person, agency or organization, the district must, upon written request, disclose to the student’s parent or eligible student the following information:

  • The specific information that was disclosed.
  • The name and contact information of each person, agency or organization to which the information has been disclosed.
  • The legitimate reason that the person, agency or organization had in obtaining the information.

The information must be disclosed within 30 days after receiving the written request and provided without charge to the parent or eligible student even if personally identifiable information of another student had to be redacted.

The information disclosure requirement does not apply to the following situations:

  • A school district providing the information to the Michigan Department of Education or the Center for Educational Performance and Information.
  • A school district providing the information to its intermediate school district or to another ISD providing services to the school district pursuant to a written agreement.
  • An ISD providing the information to a school district in which the student is enrolled or to a school district for which the ISD is providing services pursuant to a written agreement.
  • Providing the information to a person, agency or organization with written consent from the student’s parent or eligible student.
  • Providing the information to a person, agency or organization seeking or receiving records in accordance with an order, subpoena or ex parte order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.
  • Providing the information as necessary for standardized testing that measures the student’s academic progress and achievement.
  • A school district providing directory information that is covered by the school district’s opt-out form. See here for guidance on the opt-out form requirements.

If you have any questions about these new requirements or wish to receive additional guidance or training on maintaining and disclosing student records, please contact MASB Legal Services.

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Sources:

1 FERPA is a federal law that prohibits the funding of an educational agency or institution that has a policy or practice of disclosing a student’s “education record” (or personally identifiable information contained therein) without the consent of the parent.

2 When a student turns 18 years old, the rights under FERPA transfer from the parent to the student (“eligible student”).

3 FERPA defines “education records” as “those records, files, documents and other materials that:

  1. Contain information directly related to a student; and
  2. Are maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a person acting for such agency or institution. (20 U.S.C § 1232g(a)(4)(A)(i) and(ii).)