Releasing Data When a Student Transfers

Generally, education data cannot be released without the consent of a parent or eligible student (a student who is 18 or attending a postsecondary institution).  One exception is that a school district can release education data to school officials in another district where a student seeks or intends to transfer or enroll, or where a student already is enrolled as long as the release is for purposes related to the student's enrollment or transfer. (34 CFR 99.31(a)(2)) (Minnesota Statutes, section 13.32, subdivision 3(e)) 

Note: Minnesota law uses the phrase educational data to describe data related to students maintained by a public school and federal law uses the phrase education records.  This document will use the phrase education data to cover both the federal and state law phrases. Education data can be in any form including handwriting, print, electronic data, video, etc.

Responding to a request to release

When a parent/eligible student or school officials in another school district request that education data be released, the district releasing the data must:

  • Make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent/eligible student, unless the parent requested the data or the annual Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) notice (34 CFR 99.7) to parents contains a statement that education data can be released in these situations.
  • Give the parent/eligible student a copy of the released data upon request.
  • Give the parent/eligible student an opportunity to participate in a hearing to challenge the content of the data.  (34 CFR 99.34)
  • Release the data within 10 business days of a request.

If a parent/eligible student requests the release of education data to another district, the parent/eligible student must provide written consent. (34 CFR 99.30 and Minnesota Rules 1205.1400, subparts 3 and 4)

If a district maintains any of the following types of education data, the district must transfer them:

  • Disciplinary data related to suspension or expulsion. (20 USC 7165; 34 CFR 99.36(c)) (Minnesota Statutes, section 120A.22, subdivision 7(b))
  • A probable cause notice, a disposition, or court order, provided by law enforcement or probation, if the court order or disposition is received within one year of the probable cause notice or unless the data are required to be destroyed. (Minnesota Statutes, section 121A.75)

The transferring school must provide notice to a student and the student’s parent or guardian that formal disciplinary data will be transferred.  (Minnesota Statutes, section 120A.22, subdivision 7(c))  One way to provide this notice is to include it in the annual FERPA notice.

Obligations of the district into which a student is transferring or enrolling

If there is a notification in the data the district receives from the student's current/former district that the student is missing, the district must notify law enforcement of the student’s situation.  (Minnesota Statutes, section 123B.08, subdivision 3)

When a student transfers into a different district and comes with his/her own data, the district must confirm that the data are accurate and complete.