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

Amendment of records at parent's request (Sec. 300.618) and Opportunity for a hearing (Sec. 300.619)

Comment: A few commenters requested clarification regarding how parents can register their disagreement with information in their child's record and request that their child's record be changed.

Discussion: Sections 300.618, 300.619, and 300.621 all address the process that parents must use to seek changes in their child's records if they believe the record is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the child. When a parent requests that a change be made in the child's record, under Sec. 300.618, agencies must amend the information within a reasonable time or inform parents of the agency's refusal to amend the information and the parent's right to a hearing to challenge the public agency's determination. If parents want to challenge the accuracy of information in the child's education records, they may do so by requesting a hearing under Sec. 300.619 (by contacting the LEA staff member assigned that responsibility). Section 300.621 specifically provides that a hearing held under Sec. 300.619 must be conducted according to the procedures in 34 CFR 99.22. 34 CFR 99.22, in turn, requires a hearing to meet the following minimum requirements:

(a) The educational agency or institution shall hold the hearing within a reasonable time after it has received the request for the hearing from the parent or eligible student.

(b) The educational agency or institution shall give the parent or eligible student notice of the date, time, and place, reasonably in advance of the hearing.

(c) The hearing may be conducted by any individual, including an official of the educational agency or institution, who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing.

(d) The educational agency or institution shall give the parent or eligible student a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised under Sec. 99.21. The parent or eligible student may, at their own expense, be assisted or represented by one or more individuals of his or her own choice, including an attorney.

(e) The educational agency or institution shall make its decision in writing within a reasonable period of time after the hearing.

(f) The decision must be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing, and must include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision.

The parent is not required, under the Act and these regulations, to follow the procedures that are applicable to filing a due process complaint under Sec. Sec. 300.507 through 300.510. This is because the hearing authorized under Sec. 300.619 is for the explicit purpose of giving a parent the opportunity to challenge the information in education records when a parent believes the information is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the child. We do not believe further clarification regarding the specific procedures in Sec. Sec. 300.618 and 300.619 is necessary. The procedures used for these hearings vary from State to State, and we believe it is best to give States the flexibility to develop their own procedures for such hearings, as long as they meet the requirements in Sec. 300.621.

Changes: None.