Special Education Action raises serious concerns about Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia. Ironically, FCPS has also appeared on DataBreaches.net over its data security concerns. So what’s the situation? The district allegedly tries to avoid creating records that would be subject to FERPA requests, but also fails to properly secure the records and data it does create and store? Read on…..
Callie Oettinger writes:
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has a history of training staff to take actions that prevent information being obtained via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requests. Under FERPA, parents have the right to inspect their children’s education records. However, if there’s nothing in writing, there’s nothing to inspect.
This training isn’t a surprise in light of the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) recent investigation findings, released November 30, 2022. During its investigation, OCR found that FCPS directed staff to take actions that are in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), 29 U.S.C. § 794, and its implementing regulation, 34 C.F.R. Part 104, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
During the same period investigated by OCR, FCPS is known to have on at least three occasions trained staff to avoid putting information in writing, to prevent parents from obtaining it.
Read more at Special Education Action.