FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: William Gil
Director, Government Relations
AACRAO Legislative Priority Introduced in the House
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 23, 2023) – U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) reintroduced legislation this week to rescind regulatory actions that dramatically expanded the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and ensure students' private information is not inappropriately disclosed to third parties.
The Protecting Education Privacy Act (H.R 4252) would restore key protections afforded under FERPA for nearly 40 years. More specifically, the legislation aims to ensure that disclosure of students' private information to third parties will be limited to only those parties who are under the direct control of the educational entity disclosing the students' records.
“AACRAO believes that the 2012 amendments to FERPA failed to adequately preserve and protect students’ privacy safeguards,” stated AACRAO Executive Director Melanie Gottlieb. “We support this legislation and the leadership role that Rep. Luetkemeyer is taking to strengthen protections for student education records.”
2012 Regulatory Changes to FERPA
In 2012, the Education Department implemented regulatory changes that expanded circumstances in which student education records can be disclosed under FERPA and broadened the definition of who can be given access to personally identifiable information (PII) from those records on a nonconsensual basis.
The Protecting Education Privacy Act would repeal the amended definitions of "authorized representative" and "education program." The 2012 regulations inappropriately expanded the definition of "authorized representative" to anyone chosen by the designated official. The proposed legislation would restore the term to its previous definition of "individuals and entities under direct control of officials" as designated in the original statute.
The 2012 regulations vastly widened this definition to include programs not administered by educational authorities. Under the Protecting Education Privacy Act, the definition of "education program" would revert back to the original definition of "program administered by an educational agency or institution."
AACRAO IS A NON-PROFIT, VOLUNTARY, PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MORE THAN 11,000 HIGHER EDUCATION PROFESSIONALS REPRESENTING APPROXIMATELY 2,600 INSTITUTIONS IN MORE THAN 40 COUNTRIES. ITS COMMITMENT TO THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF ITS MEMBERS INCLUDES BEST PRACTICE GUIDANCE ON ADMISSIONS STRATEGIES TO MEET INSTITUTIONAL DIVERSITY OBJECTIVES, DELIVERY OF ACADEMIC PROGRAMS IN INNOVATIVE WAYS TO MEET THE NEEDS OF A CHANGING STUDENT BODY, AND EXEMPLARY APPROACHES TO STUDENT RETENTION AND COMPLETION.