Morgan Hill Case-FERPA

In April 2012 a lawsuit was filed against the California Department of Education (CDE) alleging non-compliance by local educational agencies with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504.

As part of the discovery process, the plaintiffs have requested numerous documents and student data collected and stored by the CDE. Many of the requested documents and data stored in the CDE databases contain personally identifiable information (PII) of children.

The court has ordered the CDE to produce to plaintiffs’ legal counsel documents and data that contain student PII. There is a Protective Order from the Court prohibiting the plaintiffs and their legal counsel from disclosing confidential information to anyone other than the parties, their attorneys and consultants and the court.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) sets out the requirements for the protection of privacy of parents and students, including privacy of student records. However, there are exceptions to this general rule. Specifically, an educational agency must provide PII when ordered by a court.

The CDE is obligated to inform the parent or student that the court has ordered it to produce documents and/or data that includes PII and that persons may object directly to the court regarding this disclosure. The CDE is requesting all LEAs and SELPAs post the following link to CDE’s Web site,, from February 1, 2016, through April 1, 2016. The link provides the Notice and Objection Form required by FERPA.



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