DOE releases guide on supporting undocumented students

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) released a resource guide to help school districts better support undocumented youth. According to DOE, the aim of the guide is to help educators and school staff "support the academic success of undocumented youth, to debunk misconceptions by clarifying the legal rights of undocumented students as well as sharing helpful information about financial aid options open to undocumented students."

Can a school district require a Social Security number to enroll a new student?

With the end of summer comes falling leaves, football, and OSBA’s legal hotline abuzz with enrollment questions throughout the state.  One of those questions:  our school district requests a student’s social security number (SSN) to enroll students.  What do we do if the parent doesn’t provide one?

Under the Privacy Act of 1974, a school district may not prevent a student from enrollment for failure to provide their SSN or proof the student has an SSN. 

Who is your Title IX Coordinator?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits gender discrimination in any education program or activity that is supported by federal monies.  On April 24, the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) reminded schools receiving federal dollars that they must designate at least one employee to coordinate Title IX compliance and released a guidance package relating to Title IX compliance.

OCR guidance on disabled students and extracurricular athletics

On January 25, 2013, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) notifying schools that students with disabilities must be afforded equal access to extracurricular athletics. The DCL comes after the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report noting the positive impact that extracurricular athletics has on students, especially those with disabilities.

Does HIPAA or FERPA apply to student health information?

HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Affordability Act of 1996 and its regulations contain a Privacy Rule that requires covered health care providers to keep health information confidential. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) covers students enrolled in elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools that receive federal funding. It requires school districts to keep confidential students' personally identifiable information other than directory information.