FERPA Contract Language: How to Ensure Compliance with Student Privacy Laws
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. As a professional, it`s essential to understand how to ensure compliance with FERPA when writing and editing contract language.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Understand the basics of FERPA: FERPA gives parents and eligible students (those 18 years or older) the right to access, review, and request changes to their education records. It also requires schools to get written consent before disclosing any personally identifiable information (PII) from a student`s record.
2. Use clear and specific language: When drafting or editing contract language, make sure it`s easy to understand and contains specific details about how the school will handle student data. Use unambiguous terms and avoid vague language that could be open to interpretation.
3. Include FERPA-specific clauses: Consider including specific language related to FERPA compliance in contracts. For example, a clause might state that any third-party vendor must comply with FERPA requirements and not disclose any PII without written parental consent.
4. Be aware of data breaches: In the event of a data breach, schools must comply with certain reporting requirements. Make sure contract language addresses how the school will handle a potential breach and what steps it will take to notify affected parties.
5. Keep up to date with changes: FERPA can change over time, so it`s important to stay informed of any updates or modifications to the law. Make sure to review and update contract language as necessary to ensure ongoing compliance.
Lastly, it`s important to remember that FERPA compliance is not just the responsibility of schools but also of any third-party vendors with whom they share student data. As a copy editor, it`s critical to understand and help ensure FERPA compliance in any contract language related to student data.