A recently passed law in Tennessee — Chapter 307 of the Public Act of 2017 (PC 307) — requires public school districts to release students’ names, ages, addresses, dates of attendance and grade levels completed to chartering authorities and public charter schools that request this information.
Shelby County Schools (SCS) receives numerous requests for student information that is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also known as FERPA), the federal law that protects the privacy interests of students. FERPA requires that a student’s education records and certain information contained in them be maintained as confidential and, except in limited circumstances, not be shared with a third party without your prior written consent.
SCS has already received one request from the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education to provide student information to Green Dot Public Schools, a charter management organization for the Achievement School District. On August 29, 2017, our School Board responded to the Commissioner’s request by passing a resolution to resist the release of student information to charter schools and Green Dot Public Schools. Metro Nashville Public Schools is also resisting the release of student information, and our School Board has given the SCS legal department permission to support Nashville Schools if it were to file a lawsuit on this issue.
Still, it is very important for you to understand your rights regarding the release of your child’s information. Under FERPA, you have the option to direct that some or all of the information designated as directory information about your child not be disclosed to third parties. This process is called “opting out.”
If you wish to opt out of this information sharing process, please complete the attached form and return it to your school by October 22. You can also complete the online form on the Shelby County Schools website, www.scsk12.org. More information about FERPA and this state law is available on the website as well.
We appreciate your continued partnership and support of SCS.