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U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Notice to parents (Sec. 300.612)

Comment: One commenter stated that Sec. 300.612 exceeds the authority under sections 612(a)(8) and 617(c) of the Act.

Discussion: Proposed Sec. 300.612 incorrectly referenced the requirements in Sec. 300.121. The correct reference is Sec. 300.123, which requires each State to have policies and procedures to ensure that public agencies in the State protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information. We will make this correction in Sec. 300.612.

With this correction, Sec. 300.612 requires the SEA to give notice to parents that fully informs them about the requirements regarding the confidentiality of personally identifiable information.

We do not agree that Sec. 300.612 exceeds the authority under sections 612(a)(8) and 617(c) of the Act. Section 612(a)(8) of the Act requires agencies in the State to comply with section 617(c) of the Act, and section 617(c) of the Act gives the Secretary the authority to take appropriate measures to protect the confidentiality of any personally identifiable data, information, and records collected or maintained by the Secretary and by SEAs and LEAs. This is a longstanding requirement in the regulations that we do not believe should be changed.

Changes: We have changed Sec. 300.612(a) by removing the incorrect reference to Sec. 300.121 and replacing it with a reference to Sec. 300.123.

Comment: One commenter expressed concern that summaries of the policies and procedures that participating agencies must follow regarding storage, disclosure to third parties, retention, and destruction of personally identifiable information would not be adequate to fully inform parents.

Discussion: Section 300.612(a)(3) is a longstanding requirement that has been in the Part B regulations since they were published in 1977. The Department's experience in administering this program indicates that the requirement to include a summary of policies that participating agencies must follow regarding storage, disclosure to third parties, retention, and destruction of personally identifiable information is an effective way for parents to be informed about these requirements. Parents who desire additional information regarding their rights, consistent with these policies, can request the additional information from the SEA. SEAs are encouraged to comply with such requests without undue delay.

Changes: None.

Comment: One commenter recommended requiring the SEA to post its confidentiality of personally identifiable information notice for parents on the State's Web site.

Discussion: We believe that it is up to each State to determine whether posting this notice on the State's Web site will serve the needs of parents and public agencies in the State. We, therefore, decline to regulate on this matter.

Changes: None.