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Book Chapter

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The Federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which provides funding for state educational programming, requires that student records be disclosed to a nonparent only with the written consent of the child’s parent, unless the disclosure falls within one of the several exceptions detailed in the statute. One of the exemptions provided for in the federal law permits a school to disclose information to “state or local officials or authorities to whom [that] information is allowed to be reported or disclosed pursuant to state statute,” if that official certifies in writing “that the information will not be disclosed to any other party except as provided under state law without the prior written consent of the parent of the student.” If these basic requirements are met, the question of whether children’s protective services (CPS) workers, foster care workers and lawyers-guardian ad litem may access a child’s educational records is a question largely left to state law.