AACRAO Legislative Priority Introduced in the House

May 22, 2019
  • Advocacy

U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) introduced legislation that would rescind some of the 2012 regulatory amendments to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

The 2012 regulations dramatically 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. AACRAO supports the legislation that Rep. Luetkemeyer introduced that will help 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.

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 also 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."

As many of you know, rolling back the 2012 regulations has been a legislative priority for AACRAO over the past several years and we are excited that Rep. Luetkemeyer is taking a leadership role in protecting student privacy and introducing this legislation. We will highlight this bill and encourage other Members of Congress to support this legislation next month when the AACRAO membership will make Congressional visits on Thursday, June 20 for our AACRAO Hill Day.

- Mike Reilly